Now that the clocks have changed and the nights are drawing in (for those further North, at least), the fall is well and truly with us. And with the change in seasons is the promise of inclement weather. Or rain, to be precise. And lots of it if you’re in the UK or Northern Europe.
But how can you still get out and enjoy shooting landscapes when you’re at risk of getting washed away in a flood? And how can you keep your expensive camera gear dry? In this video, landscape photographer Thomas Heaton battles against the UK elements and gives his suggestions to help keep you dry even in the middle of a downpour.
If you happen to live or be visiting parts of the world known for their bad weather (anywhere in the UK, Seattle, northern Europe, or New Zealand), then you might want to make sure that the next camera body you purchase is one with good weather sealing.
Many modern lenses also have weather-sealed options. Yes, they can be a little more expensive than non-weather-sealed. However, it might just be worth the investment. That or get waterproof housing (ideal for those living in Wales or Northern Ireland!).
There’s no such thing as bad weather, the saying goes, just inappropriate clothing. That’s actually true to an extent. There’s nothing worse (well, I guess there are a few worse things if I’m honest) than having wet feet, so good waterproof footwear, over trousers, and a raincoat with a hood are a must.
You can also take an umbrella to protect your camera equipment as long as there’s no wind (usually not possible in Scotland). In a pinch, you can take one of those disposable plastic shower caps they give you in hotels. You can easily whip it out quickly should the weather change suddenly and put it over your camera, leaving the lens open for shooting. It’s not perfect, but it works in an emergency while you figure out a better solution.
If the weather is particularly bad, then you can always seek shelter for a while and see if the skies clear up. In these parts of the world, you often get squally showers coming in from the sea or higher ground, and the weather can change a lot in one day.
For example, in Scotland, you can experience all four seasons in a day (well, except summer usually). Within minutes, the sun can peek through a gap in the clouds, producing some of the most beautiful dramatic lighting you can imagine. And minutes later, it’s back to rain again.
You need to be patient and wait out these periods of bad weather to get the brief rewards of epic lighting. The only way is to camp out somewhere dry, like a hiker’s hut or car, and just wait it out, camera at the ready. It’s usually worth it. And if not, there’s always another day to try again.
The best part about shooting in bad weather is the reward of a hot shower and warm drink at the end of the day!