Shooting in the Rain

Author: Vicki Uthe

I recently arrived back from an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop in Oregon. We traveled from Portland to Hood River, Bend, Newport, Cannon Beach, Astoria and back to Portland. In packing for this trip my biggest concern became: how to keep my me and my gear dry.

Oregon is known for its spectacular vistas that generally include a lot of green. Well, that green comes from somewhere; RAIN! So, what to bring…

I began with myself. I packed a rain jacket and rain pants that were big enough slip over my regular pants so I could take them on and off as needed. I also brought a couple of small camp towels to dry my hands before touching the camera. A shammy or washcloth would also do the trick, it just has to be small enough to fit into a pocket because if it’s not handy you won’t use it. Lastly, I brought a small umbrella that could fit into my camera pack or at least strap onto the bottom of it for quick retrieval.

Now for the gear: My camera bag has it’s own rain cover, which is in an easy to get to outside zippered pocket, and stretches over the pack in seconds. I was shooting mostly on a tripod and in my pocket was a shower cap. When it began to rain I simply pulled the shower cap out and stretched it from my lens hood back over the body of the camera. In a pinch this works well. It’s quick and easy to get to. The other item I purchased and have only used in a downpour in Arizona, where I’m from, is a raincoat for my camera and lens. There are several on the market. The one I purchased has three openings, one for the lens to poke through with a lens hood and two on either side of the body to allow your hands to manipulate the controls. There is a clear plastic back so you can view your image on the LCD screen. This takes a little longer to put on than a shower cap but if you know you are going to be shooting in rain I would put this on in the car or house and step into the rain with it already attached.

Here’s the list:

1 rain jacket and pants
1 camp towel
1 small umbrella
1 camera bag rain cover (a trash bag will do)
1 shower cap (grab one next time you stay at a hotel)
1 camera rain cover (check with your favorite camera store)

I hope this is helpful. Monsoons in Arizona are just around the corner so get your gear protected and get out there and SHOOT!

Vicki Uthe is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.