Keeping your gear safe when taking pictures outside can be quite a challenge. Yet every photographer will tell you the best natural light is outside, come rain or shine. Here are four dangers to your camera equipment you may encounter and what you can do about them.
- Water – Rain, moisture, or condensation on your lens
- Sand – Danger of scratching expensive lenses
- Sun – UV rays are a major issue that filters can protect
- Cold – Freezing temperatures can cause condensation
Cameras Are Not Water Resistant
I can’t count how many times I’ve been caught in the rain while out taking pictures. Taking pictures of flowers with dew drops or rain drops on them can have a set back or two. And those expensive camera lenses seem to attract condensation like bees to honey. I’ve been known to tuck my camera under my coat. Once I even had to slip it under my shirt as I darted for shelter. But there are easier ways to protect your camera from rain and snow.
If you’re going to venture toward water of any kind, you might want to consider protecting your camera lens. Camera bags come in a variety of sizes and most will even carry the additional items you might need to keep your gear safe while taking outdoor pictures. You can even purchase a special housing for most cameras that will allow you to shoot underwater. I just noticed today you can also purchase a portable umbrella just for your camera. It attaches to your tripod and protects your equipment from sun or rain.
Watch Out For Sand
Have you ever seen a camera lying unprotected on a beach blanket near the ocean? That scenario brings up two red flags. The first is water again. Being close to the ocean means high humidity all by itself. Your camera lens will gather moisture. You can expect some condensation if you do not have your camera protected.
The other danger is sand. You need to take extra care in cleaning your lens after a day at the beach. Sand acts as an abrasive and will scratch those expensive lenses. You may want to use canned air to blow any sand particles away. And be sure and use cleaning supplies made especially for cameras. Most cameras sell an accessory kit that includes just about everything you might need to protect your camera from outdoor mishaps.
Take Care of Sun Glare With Filters
Most of the accessory kits I mentioned also include filters. Filters protect your camera from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They also protect against sunspots and flares on your photos. Some photographers even use those filters for special effects.
You look out the window and snow is piling on the pines. Your first thought is to grab the camera and take a walk, right? I love freshly fallen snow before plows come through and turn it into piles of dirt. But again your camera needs tender loving care. Those freezing temperatures are once again an invitation for moisture to gather on the lenses.
A camera bag will help, but you may be just as well to tuck the camera under your coat to allow body heat to keep it warm. If you notice moisture on the lens, return indoors as quickly as possible. Allow your camera to dry. All should be fine. Outdoor photography is fun and full of adventure. Just make sure you take steps for keeping your gear safe while taking pictures outside.
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