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Guarding Your Camera Against Bad Weather

Friday, November 18th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography
 
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If you’ve got expensive camera gear, it’s imperative that you protect it, come rain or sunshine. Here is where these tips could help you guard it like never before.

Read the manual
Most avoid reading the manual out of sheer laziness, but if you have spent hard-earned money to own expensive equipment, it would be foolish not to guard it properly. Here is where reading the camera manual will help to some extent. Some tips are better than the others, but reading the manual is still a good thing.

Scene one
When the weather is unbearably hot, the camera needs to be kept cool. One easy way of doing it is by avoiding direct exposure to the sun. Working in the shade or indoors will work best. However, if you have to work outdoors, wrap the camera with a small towel or use an umbrella to shelter it. If you have none of those, you can get a tree or ask someone to shield the camera from the sun. If the weather gets too hot, you could go inside your air conditioning car or house, and cool your camera for a few minutes.

Scene two
When the temperature is cold to freezing, the biggest issue is about keeping the camera battery functioning. One way around this issue is to keep the batteries inside a warm woolen sweater or any gadget that works as a hand warmer and fastening it with a rubber band. However, there are limitations to using a hand warmer. The battery might get too hot. When this happens, it’s always best to cool it down a bit, before you place it inside the camera. Not doing this could cause condensation inside the camera and that could short circuit the electrical circuit inside.

Scene three
While the two tips above are a good way to keep your camera from getting damaged, there’s one issue, though. The sudden change in temperature from warm to cold or vice-versa could fog up the camera. Here is where sealing the camera in a bag will help. And yes, using a couple of silica packets inside your camera bag will avoid accumulation of moisture.

Scene four
It’s raining rhinos and you still want your shot. Here is where using a shopping bag helps. Just throw out its contents, pack the camera inside and just cut a hole for the lens to see through. Rubber band the bag around the lens to keep the majority of the water out of the actual camera body and lens, minus the front element. However, this method should be employed only during light rain. Another way to stop the rain from getting in the way of your job is a waterproof jacket. Just pulling it over your head and camera will work wonders. And yes, wear gloves to ensure your hands are always dry, come rain or hailstorm. Just to be doubly sure, place a few silica gel packets in your camera bag to avoid moisture.

Scene five

One thing that you cannot control in an area subjected to sand and dust is your lens – and particularly if the lens happens to be an expensive addition to the camera. In such a case, it’s always advisable to place a UV filter over your lens all the time, weather notwithstanding. You never know when the weather gods can act up.

~Zahid H Javali

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