Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean it can’t rain. In fact, summer is the rainy season in many parts of the country.

If you’re a photographer, the rain is sometimes good news. Rain makes flowers and plants look good. Rain usually means there’s a lack of direct sunlight. Rain usually means there are cool cloud formations and a chance for spectacular skies when the weather clears.

To be ready for rain, carry the appropriate gear with you in your photo bag. There are several companies that sell official rain covers for cameras. I like the Kata covers. But these aren’t cheap. If your on a budget, consider something as simple as a large plastic bag or an oversized shower cap.

A simple small umbrella can be all the protection you need. You can draft a friend or family member to hold the umbrella over you as you shoot. If you can’t talk someone into helping you with this wet task, you can figure out a way to attach an umbrella to your tripod.

Nationally-known bird photographer Arthur Morris sells a special clamp for just this purpose at his fabulous web site, BirdsAsArt.com.

Finally, carry a small hand towel with you to dry off any excess water that accumulates on your camera or lens. Most modern cameras can tolerate a small amount of water. Some of the professional digital single lens reflex cameras like the Canon 1DS MK III, are water resistant. If you combine common sense with a few of the tools mentioned here, there’s no reason to keep your camera indoors when it’s wet.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I found out on a long hiking trip that a large cut up trashbag and a couple rubber bands works well too. One band around the front of the lens, and one on the body to the left of the shutter. Just make sure that when you attach the rubber band to the lens that if you are using a lens with a wide range of focal lengths, attach it to the lens when it is its longest, that way you don’t zoom in and find that your rain cover just slipped back on the lens and exposed the front 1/3. Using a trashbag, you can cover your head as well keeping you semi-dry. If its windy, tie a couple rocks in the corners of bag to keep it from blowing off your head.

  2. This tip works for cities too. One of my favourite shots is of shoppers in New York during rain. I sheltered in a doorway near a junction and waited for the right moment. Lights were reflected on the wet pavement. Most people were carrying umbrellas, and the repeated pattern of umbrellas tied the image together. The rain also faded the background giving it depth. Wish I could say that I had planned all that. :-)

  3. When I can, I scout out a location before I intended to do a shoot there to see where the angles are, shelter options and other physical conditions. In one instance in Colorado, I found a place where I could set up a small overhead plastic canvas between a couple of branches to stay out of rain that was being called for the next day when I planned to be there for an early shoot. Worked out great. So scouting out a location before you actually do a serious shoot is something I always try and do.

    Best to all.

    Matt

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