Have you felt the heat this summer? Taking photos in the sun can be a challenge. However, it can be much easier with proper preparation. Here are five of my warm weather photography essentials.
As we enter the height of summer and temperatures rise, I have found myself, like many other photographers, shooting in a warmer climate than usual. Hot weather poses unique challenges: humidity, dust and dazzling photos, to name a few. These challenges shouldn’t stop you from going out to shoot and can be solved with proper preparation. However, fail to prepare and you could find yourself in an uncomfortable, hot and sweaty mess. Here are five essential cameras I would recommend for taking photos in hot climates so you can beat the heat and enjoy the summer weather with your camera.
1. Day bag
I’m sure most of us have been in a situation where we’re packing our bags for filming, trying to decide what to bring. I often fell into the trap of carrying everything just in case. While this may be manageable in colder climates, despite back pain a day later when the temperature rises, this is a colossal mistake. There’s nothing worse in shooting than a heavy bag in hot conditions. You can tire more quickly and build up sweat uncomfortably in humid environments. I recommend bringing a secondary day pack on your travels. I would recommend it to be smaller and lighter than your main bag while still being comfortable enough for all day shooting. I started using a lightweight Regatta backpack. Got it from a family member who no longer needed it, and it has done a great job so far on my current trip to Indonesia. This particular bag is not designed for cameras. Still, since I only put on a small amount of kit at a time, I don’t mind. It is waterproof and has a belt and chest strap, greatly improving comfort. Suppose you are looking for a bag like this. In that case, I recommend looking at your local outdoor store or considering a smaller camera-specific bag if you value the added protection.
2. State-of-the-art design capture
The State-of-the-art capture design is my favorite Peak Design product. If you’re not familiar with it, the Capture consists of two main parts, the clip and the baseplate. The clip is a small, two-piece aluminum clip with a locking mechanism. The clip can be attached to either strap of your camera bag without undue additional weight. The base plate is a small mounting plate which, when connected to your camera via the 3/4″ screw, can be used to attach your camera to the clip. Peak Design claims that the Capture can support over 90 kg (200 lb), which is more than enough for your everyday carry.I would recommend this clip or similar in hot climates as it will reduce the strain and friction on your neck from carrying your gear on a strap. The camera clip will allow you to have your camera handy without having to hold it all the time, I have found it also helps me to shoot more as my camera is more accessible for those times when I’d like to take a quick photo instead of grabbing it inside my bag, I’ve found it to be an invaluable addition to my kit.
3. Rocket Blower and Lens Cloths
I combined a few things for this because I think they go together, especially when it comes to hotter, dustier climates. I almost always carry a good lens cloth in my bag to clean my lens from accidental fingerprints or light rain on the front element of my lenses. However, in hot weather, I find it extremely useful to have a lens cloth to wipe off any dust or pollen that may fall on your gear. Additionally, using a rocket blower ensures that all small dust particles stay away from your expensive equipment. Using a rocket blower every time you change lenses is also good practice to ensure your sensor stays dust free. Two reasonably inexpensive items can often be found in bundles and can be crucial on your next adventure.
4. Spare batteries
Carrying extra batteries may seem obvious to some. However, one can easily forget to bring some. When shooting in hot climates, you may notice that you consume more batteries than usual. With higher temperatures, your camera may have to work a little harder to operate in hot climates, which increases battery consumption. It’s never nice to see the low battery indicator flashing on your camera knowing you don’t have a replacement, especially if you’re in the middle of a shoot! Avoid this by bringing spare batteries for your camera or drone so you can stay powered up through all the heat.
Filters are another pair of elements that we cannot forget in hot weather for several reasons. When shooting, the right combination of filters will help you get the best images in warmer conditions. First, UV filters. UV filters are a controversial choice in the photographic community due to the argument that they can reduce image quality. Despite this, I would recommend picking one up specifically for dustier conditions. This can save you the stress of excessive dust on the front element, which can be more common in warmer climates. These are relatively inexpensive and can save you from an accident. Second, circular polarizers. These are filters often used in automotive photography, but can provide excellent results for all types of photography in sunny conditions. These filters allow you to remove some unwanted reflections that may distract from your images. They will also make your images more saturated and vibrant, which can be helpful when shooting in very dazzling conditions. Both filters are widely available from several different brands.
Hot conditions can be tough for photography, but with these five elements, you’ll have no problem meeting this challenge. Go out and enjoy the sun! Don’t forget to take care of yourself, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and stay well hydrated.