Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Condoms and Cameras - Dealing with Weather

Springtime in Oregon is a wonderful time of the year for some stunning photos in which you can include the sky.

This is a prime example of panorama photography bring enhanced by spring storms...

Other examples include;
A little HDR photography to make the skies sing for the photograph. This is very close to how the human actually sees the scene. The human eye can see over ten stops of light, a digital camera sensor, or film for the matter, can see a range of about three stops.

By taking seven stops of expsoure, all that this scene needed to get proper exposure (no over exposed sky or underexposed ground), and merging the images together using special software I was able to replicate the what I saw with my own eye and share it with you who would have otherwise never have seen it.
Sometimes under exposure of the sky is exactly what is needed to get the viewer to see what is important in the frame.

In this case the silhouette is accentuated with and used as a divider to separate the reflection on the water from sky. More importantly, the treeline provides some contrasting texture to puffy clouds in the sky and the mostly flat reflection on the water.

Water adds a new element to any scene. Water carries light and reflections on its back for the delight of not only the photographer, but the viewer as well. Don't be afraid of a little rain; embrace it.

A little rain, while discouraging to many photographers only helps me see the possibilities. There are things you, as a photographer, can do to protect your equipment from the elements. Buy weather resitant or waterproof camera bag is one method. Use some kind of protection on your camera while you shoot in the rain; a rain guard, a condom (yes I said a condom) on a point and shoot or as my good friend Nathan Smith pointed out during a lecture on caring for your gear, even a grocery bag with a rubber band can work well as a rain coat for your camera.

Now I know I mentioned condom above, and yes I meant it, let me be clear here. There are certain types of condoms that you should stear clear from. The rules for condoms and cameras are a follows:

  1. No lubricant (liquid or powder) or spermacide.

  2. Clear or translucent

  3. As big as needed to completely cover your camera.
The rule of thumb for condoms and camera is, the less effective it is for birth control (no spermacide, lubricant to prevent ripping, etc) the safer it is for your camera. Place your camera in a condom, stretch the tight, so that it becomes as translucent as possible, and then double knot it. After that, shoot to your heart's content. And while I won't recomment it, you could even put your camera on or in the water for some truly unique photo ops. Just be prepared to explain to everyone else why your camera is wearing a condom.

Condoms can also be used on the end of your tripod legs to keep sand, salt water and mud off the legs

Enough with the condom uses... Now get out there and shoot. You no longer have the excuse of "It's raining outside".

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