Rain Covers and Shower Caps for Travel Photographers

April 20, 2023

Early morning, Inland Kaikoura Ranges, Middlehurst, NZEarly morning, Inland Kaikoura Ranges, Middlehurst, NZ

Early morning, Inland Kaikoura Ranges, Middlehurst, NZ
Phase One XF 150MP, 240mm Schneider Kreuznach, f11 @ 1/20 second, ISO 50

Whenever I take a rain cover for my camera, it doesn’t rain. But if I travel to a desert region, where it hasn’t rained for 50 years and I leave my rain cover behind, it pours!

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little. And maybe we don’t need a rain cover to save our cameras from a sprinkle of rain. Most modern cameras have a plethora of dust and moisture seals, as do the lenses, so a little rain is probably more of an inconvenience than a problem. The main thing to remember is to wipe the water droplets off the front lens element (although if you’re using a lens hood, you’re probably pretty safe).

For more persistent rain, or if you’re on a trek or a walk with no chance to dry out a damp camera between shoots, then prevention is indeed better than attempting a cure. A rain cover is a great accessory for travel photography – which invariably includes landscape and wildlife work from time to time. And it should be light and compact, so not an issue in terms of additional weight.

A look on photo retailer websites will reveal a range of different rain cover designs and sizes. Some of the more elaborate units will certainly do a great job, but as a travel photographer we’re probably looking for a small, simple affair. A tube of plastic material with a tie or two will do the job, assuming it is large enough. And you don’t even have to buy a camera cover when a plastic bag (assuming you can still find them) is probably good enough.

Friend Mike Langford put me onto the best free accessory in the universe: the shower cap found in most hotel bathrooms. While both Mike and I might struggle to explain to hotel management why we need a shower cap at all, there’s no doubting one makes a great camera cover and I always keep one or two in my camera bag.

 


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