Wet Weather Wildlife

Working in the rain

The Wet Look spotted by a squirrel (Image by Author)

With climate change, one headache that I face is more rain. The storms are often heavier and the rain lasts longer. I hate to shoot in the rain or just after it as the lighting is usually unsuitable for my camera. Moreover, I hate balancing an umbrella while trying to shoot.

Full Disclosure: I am an amateur wildlife photographer. With a Nikon P1000 to play with.

I had many bad memories in rainy conditions but I felt that I should see if my skills have improved with more experience and equipment. Hence the attempt to shoot in the rain. First I needed the rain to be smaller so that I could actually spot the animals.

So let’s start with the first subject while my feet was underwater on the footpath. Yes, that is how heavy the rain was. One good news about shooting in the rain is that it is quite hard to pick up the raindrops.

Collared Kingfisher — Post production (Image by Author)

This is what I was looking at.

Collared Kingfisher — straight from the camera (Image by Author)

This is what my camera originally picked up. So this means more post production work which I was not keen to do. So I started looking for an easier target.

Rooster soaked (Image by Author)

In the case of the rooster, the fowl was in the open. The rain was falling but there is no post production needed. I have three tips for shooting in the rain. Besides keeping yourself and the camera dry.

Avoid Black

Avoid drab looking birds if you can. Or if you do, you would need to move in closer or be more patient. Or more importantly, be more forgiving. Then prepare for more post production fixes later.

Female Oriental Magpie Robin (Image by Author)
Greater Racket Tailed Drongo (Image by Author)

Contrast

Look for colourful target or things that contrast with the background. The bigger target, the better. Incidentally, the white throated kingfisher was actually the furthest target of the day. Or at least furthest target that looked presentable.

White Throated Kingfisher (Image by Author)

Bring cloth for drying

I always have a cloth for cleaning the lens but on that day, it was soaked. Then the wet cloth started smearing the lens. For the rest of the camera, I use the driest part of my shirt.

One suggestion that I just discovered is to use the lens hood to keep out the rain. It is not a perfect solution as most wildlife is usually above my head so there is a need to point the lens upwards.

The other solution is a portable DIY rain coat for the camera. I just need something to cover the lens as that is the part getting wet. The rest of the camera can stay under the umbrella with me.