Shooting in the Rain

A rainbow over farms in Peacham, Vermont.

A rainbow over farms in Peacham, Vermont.

So many times we give up when the weather becomes inclement. Because we don’t like to get wet, we don’t want our equipment to get wet, it’s a hassle. But have you ever considered the images you can make under stormy conditions? Or being out there as the conditions change? I’m not advocating standing on a beach with Category 4 winds coming at you from Hurricane whomever, but you extend your photographic reach with a little more protection.

  1. Rain covers- Before the advent of specific rain covers for cameras and lens, we used to grab the shower caps that came free in the hotel. Some were better than others. Many would fit a SLR and 70-200 lens. And the price was right. You can still go this route, but basically it protects your investment as you wait out the rain. What about when you want to actually shoot in the rain? I have used at least 4 different makes of rain covers and have settle on the equipment from Think Tank Photo. They make covers (Hydrophobia) for DSLR and 70-200, DSLR and 70-200 and flash, DSLR and 300 to 600 and a set of covers for remote use (Remote Control). The Hyrdophobias covers allow you to look through your viewfinder while shooting. The sleeves allow you to stick your arms inside the cover (and snug down so water doesn’t trickle into your rain coat sleeve). You can even have the Hydrophobia for the long lens pre installed and just pull it back over the rest of the lens and body. To go to Think Tank and order: and then enter AP-619 as the code for a free gear offer with your purchase.

2.Underwater or close to the water photography- Most of us don’t do enough underwater photography to justify spending $2000 and up on an underwater housing for our camera. But if you just snorkel or stand in the water or kayak with your camera with you, then there are less expensive options. I happen to use a EWA- Marine cover which is a plastic cover with an optical glass port for my lens. This works well for snorkeling, photographing kayakers while close to or in the water or photographing in the water at the beach. Just remember to rinse it off and dry off after use.

3. Keeping equipment dry- Think Desiccant. This is material that absorbs water in liquid and vapor form. You can put a small pack in your UW housing while you are working and it will absorb stray water or condensation. Another use is for extremely damp environments (jungle, rain forest). My friend Gabby Salazar kept a Pelican case filled with desiccant material and switched her camera bodies out every other day. This helped reduce the changes of water induced failure. Some desiccants can actually be renewed and reused. Easy way to get started is the Sealife Moisture Munchers.

4. Keeping yourself dry– If all your equipment is dry, but you are all wet, you won’t be thinking about image making at all. So, why not keep dry yourself?  Depending on your environment, a good pair of waterproof boots is a great start. Anything that says waterproof and has a Gore-Tex liner will probably work. I am on my second pair of Lowa boots in 8 years. Add a pair of rain pants (mine are Gore-Tex and now about 10 years old and still going) and a waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex, eVent, or something similar). Being outfitted for outdoor adventure is part of being a nature photographer.

Editor’s Note: Check out Bill’s photography at

No Responses to “Shooting in the Rain”

Your Name: (Required)

Email Address: (Required)


Your Comments: