if you have noticed lately, the weather conditions have greatly deteriorated compared to several years before. Call it global warming or whatever you want, but it’s a fact that hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, fires, all these natural catastrophes do happen more often than they used to. Along with these we also have extreme humidity, heat, cold and dust to deal with on a daily basis. No wonder our cameras suffer in the process.
Digital camera manufacturers have started making units that are shockproof, dustproof, waterproof and many other ‘proof’ types, but not everybody has yet one of those, and let’s face it, why would we want to buy them when it’s so much easier to take care of our trusted old and battered gadget that still works great. Here are some tips that help you take care of your piece when it comes to bad weather conditions.
When it’s too cold outside and you need to take the camera with you, you need to carry it in a metal case that is tightly sealed, preferably in a hermetically sealed box. You can use gaffer tape to seal against snow and cold as low as -10C. Try to avoid exposing the gadget to various temperature changes and keep it at a relative constant temp if possible.
On the other hand it might be too hot outside particularly in desert areas which reach up to +50C at times. This is also very bad for any piece especially if left under direct sunlight. If it has many plastic parts, the piece will become a cool door-stopper in no time. You need to keep it in a silver colored box that has the advantage of reflecting the sun away from it. If you wrap it in chamois leather during the night, it should maintain its cool level much easier during the day.
The level of dust has also been increasing during the last few years, making many cameras practically unusable within minutes. Particularly exposed to this problem are the SLR cameras if you need to change the prime lenses on a regular basis. It’s very easy for the dust to get inside in a heartbeat and it is almost impossible to remove afterwards. Try to keep the piece in a sealed bag when there is heavy dust going around and try to not use it at the time.
What about humidity? Many countries experience high levels of it through most months of the year, particularly in tropical areas as in the Mediterranean islands in Europe for example. You need to seal it off in a plastic bag to avoid insect to take residence in it due to the high level of humidity, as they clearly like it. Having fungus or insects such as spiders in the camera is not fun.
While advanced photographers know most of these tips, photography for beginners can have many traps that newcomers to this art are not aware of.