Monday, 25 May 2009

Flat out in the mud - or more photography in horrible conditions

If there has been one thing that has been testing me recently it is the weather. If a weekend of 10m swells 30 knot gusts and the salt spray associate with both wasn't enough to test me and my equipment to the limit how about a day of constant rain, slick mud and riders bombing down hill at speeds of over 60kmph. That was the case for the SA State Downhill Mountain Biking race at Mt Fox at the weekend. I have been shooting this series for a national mag this year and been having a blast. Though the conditions were less than perfect we still managed to grab a few good images and as always I learnt a few things while I was out.

1. These guys (and girls) are mad. Actually I already knew this but seeing them in the wet reaffirmed my earlier conclusion.
2. Your camera can put up with a lot more grief than you can imagine. After the last few weeks and no camera fatalities I am impressed with the quality of cameras today, even those that are not billed as weather sealed.
3. Be careful when shooting with a hot shoe mounted flash as this exposes the connection to water ingress. Nothing a bit of gaffer tape won't seal.
4. Another use for clear shower caps (the ones you get in motel rooms) is to cover you strobes. Whack it over the whole unit and you have a raincoat for you flash that it can fire straight through!
5. Back lighting lights up rain beautifully.
6. You can get out and grab some great photographs in almost any weather. (again Sunday just reaffirmed my previous knowledge.)
7. Cameras are harder to clean than mountain bikes, you cannot just hose you camera down after a day in the mud like you do with your bike.

So get out and shoot!

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