Bad Weather Photography

Blackpool Seawall. Sony RX10
Blackpool Seawall. Sony RX10

Last week I wrote about how I visited Blackpool to photograph the storms when the bad weather hit. In case you weren’t aware, the UK has been hit by a series of storms for some 8 weeks now (usually a couple each week). Each storm brings huge amounts of rain (for the UK at least), high winds and often a storm surge affecting the tides in coastal regions. Large areas of the country are flooded and the sea defences are crumbling.

The image you can see above shows waves crashing over the new sea wall in Blackpool. Ordinarily high tide would just about reach the sea wall at this point. The sea wall itself is at least 20 feet high and designed to absorb the force of the waves. This should give some idea of just how large the storm surge and this wave is. Notice also how the cement between the concrete blocks is giving way and water is forcing itself through.

The following image also gives a good idea of how rough the seas were.

Bad weather in Blackpool. Sony RX10.
Bad weather in Blackpool. Sony RX10.

Photographing under these conditions can be challenging as you don’t want the camera to get wet and you certainly don’t want it to get wet with seawater. The approach I used to keeping the RX10 dry was to place it inside a zip-lock plastic bag. On the front of the lens was a UV filter. I pulled the plastic back tight over the filter and then screwed in a Cokin filter ring to the front of the UV filter. This did two things:

  1. It trapped the plastic bag between the filter UV filter and the filter ring
  2. It caused the plastic bag to become cut so that I could remove the central part of the bag to expose the UV filter.

With the central part of the bag removed I could use masking tape to attach the plastic bag securely to the filter ring. This provided a good seal and allowed me to keep the camera dry whilst shooting in the driving rain. All I had to do was keep wiping the UV filter to dry it.

I hope you find this tip useful if you are going to photograph in the rain and a cheaper alternative to some of the rain covers you can buy.

10 thoughts on “Bad Weather Photography

    1. Thanks. Unfortunately I can’t show a picture of the camera as I ripped the bag off later. If you imagine a camera in a bag with the top of the bag open so you can place your hands inside to work the controls. The front of the lens then pokes through the hole in the bottom that was made by screwing the filter ring into the filter and removing the plastic. Next time I do this I will take a picture.

  1. Great photos, and I really enjoy your blog. It’s interesting that a lot of the previews of the RX10 referred to it as weather sealed, which it isn’t. How are you getting along with camera? Still enjoying it?

    1. Thanks Steve. Yes, I can’t make out why people think it’s weather sealed. Sony would have made a song and dance about it if it were but there isn’t anything on their site. Yes I still enjoy using this camera but I need to get some real time with it out in the field. I always seem to reach for my Olympus EM5, especially when I don’t want to take any risks with the image quality.

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