Latest posts by Mark Jansen (see all)
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Since winter is at our door, I’m sure you have been gearing up for the season and perhaps you’re even thinking about joining us for our upcoming Iceland photography workshop. I thought I would address how mist from all those amazing Icelandic waterfalls can cause frustration. During Iceland’s winter, seldom do these magnificent giant waterfalls freeze completely, so you’ll need to prepare to protect your camera in wet conditions.
This blog is geared to the landscape photographer who shoots year-round and wants to learn to deal with wet conditions anywhere they go.
I know many of you have been out in the elements and have been overwhelmed by it. Perhaps you are desperately trying to figure out how to use some “One Size Fits All” Gore-Tex designed waterproof bags you found on online.
Turns out, on many of these designs you really can’t access your camera’s buttons properly for adjustments, let alone work on your composition. This has been my experience using a number of designs over the years. None of them really work as advertised.
There might be something new out there I don’t know about. But, I’ve been teaching photography workshops for years and seen just about everything. After fussing around with them, many just pack it in and head home and wait for the sunshine.
If you’re going to excel in landscape photography, you’ll have to learn to work within wet conditions and you want something magical to happen. This also applies if you’re working on some of those big waterfall pictures you see coming out of Iceland or Yosemite Valley, as well as countless big waterfalls anywhere in the world.
I’ve captured some of my best images on the edge of big rainstorms, or tucked behind waterfalls with mist and spray upwelling into me and my gear like the one behind me in this video. Granted, I’ve been shooting pro gear for years and they do offer a bit of weatherproofing built in around buttons, media card doors, and lens mounts. Most prosumer entry models do not have this.
But regardless of what camera manufacturers say about pro body weather resistant body options, this only offers you a few water barrier moments in most cases.
Water always finds a way in, no matter what grade of camera body you’re working with.
I always take the same precautions. l’ve boiled it down to a few inexpensive and effective methods to keep my camera bodies dry and lenses clear.
Aside from hiring me privately to hold an umbrella over you and wiping your lens for you when needed, (Which we offer our private photography workshop clients.), there are some other options.
Most of the time you’re out in the elements alone or with a group when the wet conditions happen.
You will need to develop a successful way of dealing with it. Your main objective is to keep your camera functioning well and have easy access to your dials. You will need to keep your lens from any traces of water by wiping it frequently.
Never trust your viewfinders or back screens in the field to tell you whether you have water spot issues. The whole process of photographing in wet conditions can be a bit of a ballet. You can master it with a little important pre-shoot practice.
My video blog above has a few of my best tips for dealing with these wet conditions issues. Many of my workshop clients have used these tips successfully over the years.
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