Happy snapping - Photography hints and tips with Peter Foster

Peter Foster Photography column EMN-140805-093831001
Peter Foster Photography column EMN-140805-093831001
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These tips will show you what you can take, how to use your camera in the rain and how to check it over before you put it away.

If you think about it, you cannot photograph falling rain - it passes the lens too quickly to register.

I found this out many years ago when I had to photograph farming equipment working in deep mud during a rain storm. The pictures were great but no driving rain showed (so it had to be drawn in later).

So what can you take? You could start in the garden.

Not only do the flowers sparkle but so do all the paths and reflections.

Splashes in puddles and ponds are the only way you can show it was actually raining and leaves add lots of colour especially in autumn.

Night photography is far more rewarding in rainy streets with all the reflected lights. A cloud burst in a city street can be quite interesting, especially if the manhole covers are bursting upwards.

Try shooting anything in the rain, it can look very different.

If your camera has a pop-up flash don’t use it in rain, flashes and water are not happy together. An umbrella works fine.

So how do you look after your camera whilst out?

Assuming you are suitably dressed for the weather, you keep the camera inside the top of your coat and take it out when you are in position for the shot, take the picture and then put it straight back inside your coat.

When you have the camera out in the rain always keep it with the lens pointing to the ground until you take the picture. Check there is no rain on the lens when you can, but on a compact don’t rub hard on the lens to clean it as you could strip the focus motor. Most cameras don’t mind a bit of wet on them but drowning them is not recommended, just keep giving them a bit of a wipe when you can.

Finally, before putting your camera away. Make sure you are back in the dry. Wipe the camera over carefully with a clean soft handkerchief, taking care to move the zoom out to its fullest extent to dry any rain that has got down the barrel.

If you need to clean the lens do not press on it, especially on compacts for the reason previously mentioned, and if it has a self closing lens cap don’t press on the blades.

Lastly, if the camera has got cold outside do not close it up or put the lens cap on until it has warmed up to room temperature, otherwise the lens will condense over and putting it away misty could damage the lens.