‘Tis the season of rain! As Vancouverites, we’ve all experienced it, lived it, and are all too familiar with it. It’s a fact that a majority of our weather is rain. Due to the rain, I often hear the excuse: “I haven’t been photographing much because it’s has been raining.” Politely, I say “BOGUS!” to that. As artists we should be constantly evolving and adapting to our environments at all times – this includes shooting film in wet surroundings. It’s often thought of that you shouldn’t photograph with film in the rain, but I’m here to tell you differently. Weather can be our friend or our foe, let’s make it our friend!
Tip #1: Always be prepared. This includes proper attire for yourself, and your gear! Whether you’re covering your camera with an Arc’teryx jacket or a Ziploc bag, preparedness is essential to success when facing extreme environmental conditions. We recommend wearing an oversized raincoat to tuck your camera into or under, or use up some of those extra plastic bags you have kicking around the house. If you use a plastic bag, just ensure you let it breathe to prevent moisture and condensation. We also carry the Op/Tech Rainsleeves for only $8.95 – $10.95 online and in store, which are dedicated plastic camera covers with a drawstring. This waterproof rainsleeve will save your camera in a pinch.
You can find them here: https://www.beauphoto.com/product/optech-rainsleeve/
Remember: there is no point in damaging your gear just because you’re ill-prepared.
Tip #2: Use a lens hood. A lens hood can not only be used against glare, but also to protect your lens from water droplets. Bring a dry cloth with you too, this can be used to wipe your glass. Be sure to pick a cloth that is clean and soft, so as to not damage your lens. We have a variety of lens hoods available that are cheap for the pickings or we have lens specific hoods that fit your lenses like a well tailored outfit.
Tip #3: If you’re placing a new roll of film in your camera do not load your film in the rain. Loading film in the rain can cause mechanical issues to the interior of your camera by allowing unwanted moisture into your camera body and onto your film. If you do need to load some new film, choose a dry place like indoors, under an umbrella, or under a covered area. Further, after photographing and completing a roll of film, consider placing it in a small plastic bag or a Ziploc to keep it dry and safe from the elements! This is especially true for 120mm rolls.
Tip #4: You must never forget to keep your gear dry when it’s not in-use. Peak Design’s Everyday 3L sling is completely weather proof. This is one of Peak Design’s lightest bags on the market, hanging gently over your shoulder so you can avoid that damp feeling you get from heavier packs against your back. Finally, there’s a way to beat the B.C. humidity. The bag comes in a compact 3L size and in larger 6L and 10L sizes.
Prices of the Peak Design Everyday sling vary from $99.95-$194.95 (depending on size). You can find the bag in store, or through our website here:
Tip #5: After your shoot when you arrive indoors, be on the lookout for condensation build-up on your camera. This can cause problems with your viewfinder, or your mechanics. Keep your camera out in the open, allowing it to breath and climatize. Do not leave your camera in your bag or whatever cover you have used, this will promote a build-up of humidity inside and around your camera. Also, consider using a clean cloth to soak up the remaining water and moisture found on your camera. This is also true for your film – it must acclimatize accordingly to its environmental factors whether you are doing some at home processing or before you take it outside!
Tip #6: What to do if your film, or film camera gets wet
If your film is wet, DO NOT place the film into your camera for exposure. Emulsion when wet will swell and become sticky – this can shed within your camera on places like sprocket holes, back plates, and motor drives. If your film camera gets significantly wet, the first thing to do is take it to a dry place. Clean off the excess water with a clean towel or a cloth. Remove your battery (if there is one) and keep the battery door open. If you have film in your camera, do not open your body’s back door. If you do not have film loaded, consider leaving the back door open. Further, consider taking your lens off your camera body. This disassembly will assist your camera in the acclimatization process and will de-humidefy accordingly.
With all of these tips, you are prepared to shoot film in the rain! Think we missed one or have any tips of your own? Email email@example.com or leave a comment below!
Photographs taken by Nic Latulippe – @nic_latulippe