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Page 3 Ray Barlow

Written By onci on Saturday, May 29, 2010 | 3:39 AM

Nothing Like the Rain!! by Ray Barlow

Shooting in the rain always presents a challenge. The first concern is your equipment!! Soggy soaking wet cameras and lenses can be expensive to repair! The newer high end equipment is protected with weather seals, so a little rain on my gear has not been a problem. (so far!)

I have been using a plastic wrap for my camera gear when the rain is anything more then spitting. It looks like a huge bread bag, with a string threaded through one end to tighten around your lens hood., locally we can buy them ... 2 for $8.00.

The next interesting adventure would be the lack of our basic necessity... Light! usually I am pretty stuck on low ISO setting, 320 max for the D300, so this in itself creates the challenge. In a typical scene at ISO 250, f4, my shutter speeds are around 1/50 - 1/100 sec.

So, at 400mm a sharp shot is not easy to come by!! The next issue is how do we keep everything still? We can't!!

At least not for very long! We are photographing birds, and many species in the spring rains are small, and very "jumpy". Waiting for the bird to be still for that split second is the key.

Lens movement is usually more of a contributing factor for blurry images. A short burst of high fps (frames per second) seems to work well. Get a good lock on your subject using your cameras static subject locking AF system, and hold still without breathing, and fire 4-6 frames. If the bird has sat still and you’re steady with your kit, you will have at least one sharp image.

The beauty of shooting in the rain is the colours!! Water on the bird, foliage, bark etc. really enhances the image!! Last weekend, I had a workshop with my guest Lee-Ann, and we really had some excellent shooting, all of the images here on this page were taken during that day... thanks Lee-Ann!

Ray Barlow
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