Rain-proof Your Camera for Free

Hotel room goodies can keep you dry on a rainy shoot, diffuse the light on a sunny shoot and keep your filters clean and safely packaged.

Because I shoot home building job sites quite often, I don't have the luxury of choosing which weather I'll work in. If it's dumping rain, many builders will typically bail out (pun), but a drizzle won't stop most of them (especially in Oregon). If I want to get my shots, I have to be ready.

Here's a tip I got from National Geographic magazine. Robert Caputo and Cary Wolinsky wrote a column in the front-of-book section My Seven. It's an interesting column because it's really more about the author than any particular thing. It's an interesting use of magazine space; Henry Kissinger's "My Seven" is likely to ba quite a bit different than Ozzy Osborn's.

Much of Robert and Cary's Seven focus on setting up a temporary photo studio in your hotel room, but a couple of items about location shooting. Among the most useful: hotel room shower caps make a great rain shield for your camera. You can cover the whole camera leaving the front of the lens exposed (a clear shower cap allows you to see the knobs and the display screen on the back of the camera body). They also reccommend grabbing the shower curtain to use as a light diffuser (or additional rain protection) which is a pretty good idea, but I often need a larger diffuser on an architectural shoot, so I reserve rooms with King size beds and grab the bed sheet. Fitted sheets have conveniently rounded corners which makes them easier to hang from curtain rods or other stationary objects.

Bonus tip: Carrie and Robert suggest using the shoe mitt for cleaning filters, but I also like to use it to dry the inevitable water droplets on the front of the lens...

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