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Author Topic: How do YOU manage seaspray??  (Read 1659 times)
Hyper_Vistas
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« on: January 03, 2013, 05:58:48 PM »
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I searched for this topic before hand with no results. New guy here so go easy if it's in the wrong forum. Wink

Anyway.....

I dragged myself out of bed at 3:30 am yesterday morning to shoot a rocky coastal point near Caloundra, Australia. I arrived at the beach and was met with some pretty strong winds, but  ventured out to the point and set up my tripod. Unfortunately for me, all of my desired compositions were facing into the wind and picking up some decent seaspray. Unless I kept the front element covered with my hand, within about 10 seconds, it would be covered with a fine layer of salty spray Angry Angry Angry

So I did the best I could and quiclky set up my composition then kept one hand over the element until I saw the right shot, removed hand and pressed the shutter button. It was really hard to shoot as I would be cleaning the lens literally every 2 minutes, sometimes missing a bit and showing up as blur on the final image.

Question. How do you seasoned seascape shooters manage wild weather like this? I'd like to hear some of your solutions!

Tim


 
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stever
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 06:04:08 PM »
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don't know how seasoned i am, but i use the Optech sleaves because they're easy to carry even if you don't expect bad weather.  use a UV filter on the lens and wipe it frequently with a microfiber hand towel (which is big enough to dry off the camera, etc. if necessary)
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K.C.
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 10:48:03 PM »
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Question. How do you seasoned seascape shooters manage wild weather like this? I'd like to hear some of your solutions!

By using bodies and lenses that are well sealed against the elements, using high quality filters and budgeting for replacement gear. Salt has an inevitable effect.

Rain covers can be pretty effective and even a plastic bag can go a long way as a temporary means of protecting gear.
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Chockstone
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 09:16:47 PM »
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Not sure there's much I can suggest for shooting straight into the wind/spray, other than to check websites that forecast wind speed prior to departure. For me, I know a light rain/wind can be handled. So if I see a forecast such as "cloudy with a chance of showers and low to moderate wind" I'll get quite excited and head out. Sunny conditions are boring, I'd rather chance shooting a thunderstorm and come away with nothing, then head out into yet another empty sky.

Re wind/rain, here's what I do:

1. Scout the area for the most sheltered spot that still yields a great composition. Rocky coastal areas often have large boulders you can hide behind. If there's a peninsula, try the other side of it, it might be wind free.

2. Increase tripod stability by shooting lower to the ground, with a heavy tripod. If you do weight your tripod with something like your pack hanging off the centre pole, make sure it isn't moving in the wind. Even the slightest movement transfers vibrations. Put your hand on the tripod and check if you can feel vibrations. If there is anything truly stable around like a large boulder, consider jamming two of your tripod legs up against it and raising the height of the third leg to apply tension, until the set up is effectively wedged in solid.

3. Put up a large golf umbrella to shelther your camera and tripod from wind/rain. If the wind is high you'll need both hands and maybe your whole body weight to control it. This way you can shoot through light rain and wind, blocking both entirely with the umbrella, provided the wind isn't coming directly towards you. (You still need to be aware of ambient moisture).

4. After composing, use LiveView zoomed to 100% and check again for vibrations. They should be obvious at that magnification. If the image is jumping, reset the umbrella closer, or wait for a lull.

5. Shoot multiple bracketed shots using shutter speeds that are either super fast (faster than the vibrations), or very slow. I prefer slow myself. Try for 30 seconds. You'll find that tiny, infrequent vibrations have no affect on the overall long exposure. Of course your water will be very blurred as will any trees caught by the wind, but you did say rocky coastland, and rocks don't move.

6. I'll compose, set exposure, focus etc then clean the lens and stick my beanie over both camera and lens while waiting for the light. When the moment arrives, whip the beanie off, trip the shutter remotely and cover both again. Clean and repeat as required.

Here's one from a few days ago, shot through wind so high it required, at times, crawling on hands and knees to advance forward. It's 87 megapixels, tack sharp, even the shrubbery, which was protected by the lee of the hill.

http://www.chockstonephotos.com/Australian-Print.asp?ID=521&Zoom=TRUE
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 04:25:57 PM by Chockstone » Logged

Josh-H
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 05:46:51 AM »
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By using bodies and lenses that are well sealed against the elements, using high quality filters and budgeting for replacement gear. Salt has an inevitable effect.

Rain covers can be pretty effective and even a plastic bag can go a long way as a temporary means of protecting gear.

Honestly, I just don't worry about it. Plastic covers, bags etc. all more trouble than they are worth IMO. I just keep a clothe in my pocket to wipe the front element (I don't even put a UV filter on) when it gets covered in spray.

Then again, I shoot 1-series cameras that are built for abuse. However, I would be less inclined to be so flippant with anything less that a 1 series.
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Marlyn
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 04:23:27 PM »
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What Josh said for most of it.      
Although I do use a rain cover when standing out shooting birds or long lens in the rain,  such as Stormjacket.

Sea Spray (or Waterfall Spray) on the Lens however, is always a problem.   The main prevention here is to stop the water from ruining the shot.
I use two solutions:

1. A Lee Filter (like the almost never used 1 stop)  in the front bracket of the holder to catch the 'spray'  while composing.  slide it up, Shoot, slide it back down.  This protects the lens and other filters from annoying water hitting it.  

2. A Small piece of plastic from an old ClearBags bag, and a rubber band.  This gives enough that I can see through it to do the composition.  Take off for the shot, put it back on.    

3. Carry several Lens towels/cloths !. Wipe off any offending spots.

4. Where possible, shade the lens from direct rain or spray,  Hat, Umbrella, Lens hood,  Flarebuster etc.

Regards

Mark.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 06:23:23 PM »
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All of those suggestions seem valid, but did you try taking a shot with the spray on the lens? depending on how fine it is, it might not be an issue, although certainly something you would wan't to control since corrosive salt water isn't good for anything....The only time I was in a situation like this was with the Hasselblad 300mm f/4.5 HC in this shot here http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/wave30x40-SML-copy.jpg and it had a fairly substantial and deep lens hood which protected it well.....however I will also cite an example like this

http://digitalcomposting.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/invisible-pencils/

Which demonstrates the use of wide apertures, and how of course it can make small, and not so small things disappear in-front of the lens. This is something to consider, however it might not work with your applications especially if you want to use small-apertures (f/8 f/11 /16 f/22 etc) because this may exacerbate the issue which was hidden at larger apertures... just a thought
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www.brianhirschfeldphotography.com / www.flickr.com/brianhirschfeldphotography
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Marlyn
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 10:10:51 AM »
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All of those suggestions seem valid, but did you try taking a shot with the spray on the lens? depending on how fine it is, it might not be an issue, although certainly something you would wan't to control since corrosive salt water isn't good for anything....The only time I was in a situation like this was with the Hasselblad 300mm f/4.5 HC in this shot here http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/wave30x40-SML-copy.jpg and it had a fairly substantial and deep lens hood which protected it well.....however I will also cite an example like this

http://digitalcomposting.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/invisible-pencils/

Which demonstrates the use of wide apertures, and how of course it can make small, and not so small things disappear in-front of the lens. This is something to consider, however it might not work with your applications especially if you want to use small-apertures (f/8 f/11 /16 f/22 etc) because this may exacerbate the issue which was hidden at larger apertures... just a thought

I certainly have before. And in general, it destroys the image I was trying to make.   I am almost always shooting at f/11 for Landscape work.

You are correct, for longer lenses,  deep lens hood is one of the BEST solutions.    All my comments are related with either using filters, or wide angle lenses where a deep lens hood is not an option.

Good weather sealed cameras, and proper maintenance deals with any water-on-equipment issues,  my main concern is water landing on the lens front Element, so it dosn't mess up the shot.

Regards

Mark
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 12:56:05 PM »
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Im with Josh.

I do my far share of seascapes and wildlife shooting there as I like within 1km of the beach.

I always give my camera ans lenses a good clean when I return from the brine.
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