In the southwest coast of Canada, the rainy season is well & truly upon us, and for most wildlife photographers, this means a reduced opportunity to go out and shoot our favourite critters. Wildlife photographers for the most part will avoid inclement weather and only go out shooting when the weather is sunny and/or cloudy, but personally, I don’t mind going out when it’s raining, even in monsoon type conditions. This is because I have some rainy day gear that I’d like to talk about today.
When the rain is coming down, one obviously wants to protect expensive camera gear, even if the camera & lens are advertised as being weather sealed. For my camera gear, I use a Canon ERC-E5L rain cover that offers one level of protection to my Canon 600mm f4L lens and whatever body I am using at the time. I also have an umbrella holder for my tripod which offers an additional layer of protection for my gear along with a modicum of protection for me! My jury-rigged umbrella holder consists of two Manfrotto 035 Superclamps ($46.95) and a Manfrotto 244N Variable Friction Arm ($175.95) – while $250+ for an umbrella holder may seem somewhat extreme & over engineered, but it is the only rig I have found that is strong enough to hold my umbrella in blustery conditions. The umbrella I use is a 60″ vented golf umbrella, which allows some wind to pass through, resulting in less air resistance and the 60″ diameter allows ample coverage for my 600mm lens & myself. Of course, in inclement weather make sure to wear a warm, waterproof jacket, gloves, pants, wool socks, and waterproof boots so that you are comfortable. I made the mistake once of going out without rain pants, and the sideways rain soaked through, ran down my legs and flooded my waterproof footwear – not very comfy!
There are a few reasons why I like to go out when the weather conditions are not favourable:
- There are less people around – often no one!
- Noise from rainfall can mask noises made by me as I stealth walk towards my subject.
- Images made on a rainy or snowy day conveys a different mood than images taken on a sunny day.
- Less contrast.
As long as one has the proper gear, a little bit of rain & wind shouldn’t get you down…go out and shoot! 🙂
Cover Photo: Short Eared Owl in a rainstorm
– Canon 5DmkIV + Canon 600mm f4L
– 1/100 sec, f4, 800 ISO