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What to do When it Starts to Rain – Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

17 Dec

I live in a country where the climate is described as temperate. This is just another euphemism for not so great weather! Typically, the seasons sort of merge together and the annual rainfall can dampen anyone’s spirits, pun intended.

It was when living in Paris, France for a couple of years that I truly understood the real meaning of the four seasons. Spring in Paris is actually spring – chilly but with clear blue skies and sunshine. And in summer, my favorite season, it is gloriously hot.

Rain and water, in general, are not a good mix when it comes to camera equipment, especially when it comes to your camera bodies and lenses. But there are times when you can get caught literally out in the rain. So what do you do? Panicking is an option, albeit not a practical solution.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

In this article, I aim to provide some useful tips to keep you and your gear protected from the elements. The following tips are for when you find yourself caught out in a light rain shower that doesn’t last long, but want to stay on location to continue shooting.

The first thing to do before stepping outside your door is to check the weather forecast. If you have to travel to your chosen destination, the weather may change when you arrive, so be prepared for that. Most smartphones have a weather app built-in. I recently downloaded the rain radar app. It’s free too (for Android here – for iOS as well, just search for the right one for your area).

5 Useful items to have in case it rains

  1. Rain pack and a towel
  2. Lens hood
  3. Camera rainsleeve or a Ziplock bag
  4. Silica gel packs
  5. Umbrella
What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Hiking boots plus my stuff bag which has my waterproofs and a towel.

Preparation is key here. Inevitably, when shooting outdoors, you are at the mercy of the weather. I have a designated rain pack that I can throw into the boot (trunk) of my car along with my hiking boots. I use this type of bag so as I can stuff my waterproofs and towel inside at short notice. Plus, the bag itself takes up so little space for storing away afterward.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

My waterproofs & hiking boots ready to go in the boot of my car

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

My handy stuff bag, otherwise known as a dry bag for storing scuba fins!

The towel is for wiping surface water off your gear, especially your tripod legs, before collapsing the legs down. Or indeed yourself!

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Handy anti-rain items for cameras

The humble lens hood can sometimes get overlooked for its usefulness. This small lightweight bit of plastic is key in not only preventing unwanted strong light hitting the lens at an angle, which produces lens flaring and ghosting. It can also help stop the rain from hitting the front of the lens element. Another bonus for the lens hood is protecting your expensive glass against a fall or knock.

Another permanent fixture in my camera bag is the camera rainsleeve by OP/TECH USA. However, I haven’t yet had to use it but knowing that it’s there is reassuring. It is probably the cheapest camera gear item you will ever buy. I think it’s worth paying $ 6.95 USD. It is inexpensive and takes up so little room in your camera bag. Of course, you can always improvise and use a ziplock bag instead.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Camera Rainsleeve by OP/TECH USA – a great inexpensive solution to protect your camera in the rain.

Moisture absorbent silica gel packets, the little 5g packets that are used for storage or dispatch of electronic products. I tend to keep them when I get a parcel delivered, so I have a couple in my camera bag at all times. You can also buy these silica gel packs online quite cheaply too.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Silica Gel Sachets – a handy item in your camera bag for keeping moisture away from your camera. Just make sure to check them from time to time for wear and tear. Inside the sachets are very small hard translucent gel balls, which can get lodged in unusual places.

Tip: Do check these little sachets from time to time for wear and tear. Recently, I had one split open not in my camera bag but in my laptop case. I tried to insert a flash drive into the USB Port. The USB key wouldn’t insert completely. Thankfully, I didn’t try to force it. I couldn’t see anything obvious when I checked the USB Port. However, when I got a flashlight to have a better look. I could see this very small translucent ball stuck in the corner. Luckily, I was able to get it out without damaging the USB Port.

Cover yourself too

Last but not least on my list is the ubiquitous umbrella. If you are by yourself, you might be able to hold a small umbrella to protect your camera while shooting. A little awkward at best but it could work in a pinch. On the other hand, if you are with someone else. It’s ideal, as he/she can hold the umbrella over you and your camera.

Umbrellas also act to protect your subjects from getting wet. On one occasion, I used my shoot-through-white umbrella to protect my model from getting wet. It also acted as a great backdrop for the shot.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Girl holding a white see thru umbrella that I used to keep my model dry and it provided a great backdrop too.

Tip: An umbrella can be used as a great prop for an image. For example, a red umbrella or a differently shaped umbrella can really add an interesting dimension to your image.

Summary

Shooting outdoors does indeed bring its own challenges but with a bit of planning and having a few essential items to hand, all may not be lost. We can’t control the weather, so at best all we can do is prepare for it.

For example, for the shot of the Sony camera inside the waterproof case (see top photo). The camera is sitting on the bonnet (hood) of my car and I was nice and dry underneath the front porch of my house four feet away. If the rain persists or is simply too heavy to venture out, use this time to take actual shots of the rain against the window of your house or car.

Before

After

Before

After

What makes these shots more interesting is the type of background and the light reflecting off the rain droplets. For example, in the following image. I was in my own car and shot the car in front of me with my iPhone. I switched the wipers off to let the rain build up on the windscreen. The lights from the oncoming traffic gave it this Blade Runner abstract type shot.

Before

After

Disclaimer: I wasn’t driving the car when I took these shots. The traffic was at a standstill.

I hope you found this article useful. I’d love to hear your tips and advice on how you battle the elements when out shooting in the rain or other inclement weather. Please leave your comments below.

The post What to do When it Starts to Rain – Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting? by Sarah Hipwell appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Instagram starts warning users about wildlife abuse when they search certain hashtags

07 Dec

Instagram has announced a new wildlife protection measure following a New York Times report on how some traffickers are using the platform as part of the illicit animal trade. In a blog post published earlier this week, Instagram said that it will start presenting a content advisory screen to users who search for hashtags that are, “associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”

This advisory, shown below, links to both the posts and a page where additional information on the matter is provided. That page, which discusses both environmental considerations and wild animal interactions, further links to TRAFFIC, the World Wildlife Fund, and World Animal Protection agencies.

In addition to encouraging its users not to damage the environment in order to get the perfect shot, Instagram says:

We also encourage you to be mindful of your interactions with wild animals, and consider whether an animal has been smuggled, poached or abused for the sake of tourism. For example, be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.

Users who come across a video or photo they believe to be violating Instagram’s guidelines on this matter are urged to report it. The company explicitly states that it does not allow endangered animals to be sold via its platform, nor does it allow content featuring animal abuse.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Lighting 103 Starts in January

06 Dec

Are you busy in 2017? If not (or even if so!) we invite you to join Strobist's upcoming Lighting 103 course live, when it arrives in January.

As with Lighting 101 and 102, L103 is completely free. There are some minimum gear requirements (sorry, I can't afford to give each of you gel packs.) But as with L101 and 102, there is nothing crazy expensive.

The first section of the course will debut in mid-January, and new lessons will post bi-weekly after that. Expect the course to last for most (if not all) of the 2017, as there are already a couple dozen lessons planned.

Are you in? Cool beans. Here's what you need to know. Read more »
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Creative Live’s Photo Week starts tomorrow

26 Sep

Now that Photokina is over and we are impatiently waiting for the latest cameras and gear to ship, it’s a perfect time to hone up on our photography skills. Luckily, our friends at Creative Live are hosting their annual Photo Week this week, September 26 – 29.

Photo Week 2016 is four days of photo education, brought to you through 24 live classes taught by top photographers and educators. It is geared toward people who are comfortable with the basics of photography and are looking to expand their knowledge base into more advanced techniques.

Some of the classes we are really looking forward to include Brandon Stanton (the photographer behind the popular photo blog Humans of New York) discussing how his experiences have shaped his work as a storyteller, Vincent Laforet sharing ideas for how to move your business from stills to video, Jared Platt giving tips on a whole range of post-processing topics, and Chase Jarvis opening up about his experiences in the photo industry.

As with all Creative Live classes, you can watch the live classes online for free. If watching the live class won’t fit into your schedule, you can purchase on-demand access so that you can watch it on your own time. The price for the entire week (including all 24 classes) is normally US $ 499, but they are offering it for US $ 199 for a limited time.

But there’s more! DPReview readers can use the discount code ‘DPR10‘ to receive 10% off of any Creative Live class through December 31, 2016.

Check out the Photo Week schedule to see what’s available. What looks interesting to you?

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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DJI Inspire 1 Raw Edition with Zenmuse X5R 4K MFT camera starts shipping March 28

26 Mar

The DJI Inspire 1 Raw Edition quadcopter with Micro Four Thirds Zenmuse X5R camera will begin shipping on March 28, the company has announced. Additionally, DJI plans to start shipping the standalone Zenmuse X5R camera on March 31 for those who want to buy it separately. The Zenmuse X5R features interchangeable lenses, remote-controlled aperture and focus and records 4K video.

According to DJI, the Zenmuse X5R is the smallest lossless 4K camera designed for use with drones. Videos are recorded at an average bitrate of 1.7Gbps (up to 2.4Gbps) in CinemaDNG to an internal SSD. Likewise, the X5R also features a D-LOG mode for more flexible post-production color grading.

The Inspire 1 Raw with Zenmuse X5R was announced in September 2015 and is currently available for preorder. DJI stated today that both products will go up for sale through its own stores and through its dealers, as well as through ‘all sales channels’ starting next week. The drone with camera is listed for $ 5,999 on B&H Photo’s website.

Via: DJI Forum

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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RED Scarlet-W and Scarlet-W Monochrome unveiled: shipping starts in February

12 Dec

RED has introduced its new Scarlet-W and Scarlet-W Monochrome pro-grade cameras. Both models feature RED’s Dragon sensor with recording options that include 5K/60fps, 4K/150fps, and 2K/300fps. Additionally, the Scarlet-W Monochrome makes it possible to capture black and white footage with enhanced resolution and improved light sensitivity. Thanks to a durable and lightweight design, Scarlet-W is suitable for on-the-go projects.

RED says its new offering makes ‘obsolescence obsolete’ by using the DSMC2 accessories line, which is also compatible with RED’s Red Raven and Weapon cameras. The same modular design found on RED’s other cameras comes with Scarlet-W and is joined by an interchangeable lens mount.

Scarlet-W (body-only) is priced at $ 9,950 USD/€10,040 EUR/£7,175 GBP with shipping set for February 2016. Deposits are now being accepted at $ 1,000 USD. Packages are also available starting at $ 14,500 USD.


Press release:

ANNOUNCING THE INDUSTRY-CHANGING SCARLET-W CAMERA

Today RED introduced the newest addition to the RED DRAGON® family, SCARLET-W. Bringing an unparalleled level of accessibility to content creators everywhere, SCARLET-W combines RED’s intuitive camera design—including integrated mounting points, interchangeable lens mounts, simultaneous REDCODE® RAW and Apple ProRes recording formats, intelligent OLPF system, and in-camera 3D LUT outputs—with a RED DRAGON sensor to provide a solution that blends flexibility and accessibility with high-end performance.

Coupling RED’s wide dynamic range and renowned color science with simultaneously recording capabilities in REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes, SCARLET-W provides shooters with the best image quality possible in any format. Professionals are empowered to capture their vision exactly as they see it with recording frame rates of 5K at 60 frames per second (fps), 4K at 150 fps, or 2K at 300 fps when shooting REDCODE RAW.

SCARLET-W is estimated to begin shipping in February 2016, with deposits now being accepted through the RED website or with a RED Authorized Dealer. Customers have the choice to purchase the camera BRAIN® only—with either a color or black and white monochrome sensor—or the SCARLET-W Base I/O V-Lock Package, which provides the key components necessary to get out and start shooting. Additionally, current SCARLET DRAGON® owners are eligible to receive a $ 2,500 discount on the SCARLET-W Base I/O V-Lock Package price (Only available through RED.COM).

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Samsung starts mass-production of thinner 16MP sensor with 1.0?m Pixels

31 Jul

Samsung has announced the start of mass-production of its S5K3P3 image sensor for mobile devices. The new chip is 20 percent thinner than previous generations. At under 5mm thickness, the new sensor can be used in ultra-thin smartphones without creating the protruding camera modules we’ve seen on some of the latest Samsung Galaxy models. Read more

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Curved Skyscraper Melts Cars, Starts Fires with Heat of Sun

06 Sep

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

reflected light london skyscraper

A nearly-complete London tower is being investigated thanks to reflected daylight that is dazzling (and sizzling) the neighborhood in extreme, surprising and undesirable ways. The structure is suspected as the source of myriad problems, from cooked car parts in adjacent vehicles (parked in its bright glare) to spontaneous fires in a nearby businesses (with carpets catching fire from the focused light).

reflective skyscraper daylight

On the vehicular front, per Mirror News in the UK (images via [Duncan]): warped side panels, melting mirror casings and a burning smell in some cars all point to the proverbial finger at glare caused by the uniquely-shaped, 37-story structure known as the Walkie Talkie building still under construction. While the matter is studied, usage of parking spots that fall under the building’s reflected spots of sunlight has been suspended.

reflective architecture under construction

Meanwhile, local businesses report peeling and puckered paint and other forms of heat damage to their exteriors and interiors, including a carpet that spontaneously ignited, presumably due to the light rays reflected from above and focused through the facade glass storefront.

reflective tower building

As a temporary measure, the building developers are apparently doling out cash for repairs and preventative measures to affected individuals and businesses until a lasting solution can be found.

reflecive building shape curved

This almost-finished work of urban architecture has a 300 million dollar price tags, yet it remains unclear how this fundamentally problematic design issues can be addressed now that the skin has been installed. Thankfully, the damage should be nearly done for this year. As the sun drops in the sky over the next few weeks of fall, the phenomena should disappear … at least until next summer, that is, but at least it buys the developers a bit more time.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

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OMG Life starts sales of Autographer ‘intelligent wearable camera’

30 Jul

autographer.png

British company OMG Life has announced that its Autographer camera is now on general sale. Billed as the ‘world’s first intelligent, wearable camera’, it uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It has an ultra-wideangle lens with a 136° view, a 5MP sensor, and 8GB of internal memory for up to 28,000 images. Images can be shared with smartphones using a Bluetooth connection, and assembled into stop-motion movies. It’s available from the company’s website for £399, shipping initially to the UK and most European countries.

News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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dPS Summer Series Starts Today

26 Dec

Christmas has come and gone and being based in Australia – where Summer is in full swing – the dPS team are all feeling the call to the beach after what’s been a busy year!

Image by Kennymatic

I know it might be hard to hear for some of you snowed in in the Northern Hemisphere but the sun is shining and the temperature is rising over here and most Aussies take a couple of weeks off at this time of year.

But don’t fret – while we’re at the beach we’ve lined up some great content for you here on dPS so you can get your photographic ‘fix’.

Here’s what will happen:

1. Between Christmas and New Years – The dPS best of 2012 Series

Over the next week we’ve lined up a bit of a look back on the year that has been. In 2011 we published over 500 tutorials here on dPS – too many to have really taken in. So over this next week we’ll be presenting some ‘best of’ posts where we’ll publish themed collections of our best stuff from the last year.

Later today we’ll kick it off with a collection of our hottest landscape photography posts written this year. Each day there will be a new theme.

2. The First 10 Days of 2013 – Reduced Posting

In our second week (10 days actually) we’ll be posting some great new content – but we’ll just post once a day instead of our normal twice a day schedule.

Also please note: over the next two weeks you may not see a newsletter from us – but we’ll make the following one a great one!

All will be back to normal come 10th January though! In fact it’ll be better than ever as we’ll hopefully be returned relaxed, healthy and with a bronzed healthy ‘we’ve been in the sun look’.

Happy New Year!

Lastly – let me take this opportunity to wish the wider dPS community a very Happy New Year. I hope that 2012 has been a good one for you and would like to send you our best wishes for 2013!

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

dPS Summer Series Starts Today


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