Shooting photos in warm weather presents a challenge to photographers. Try these tips and techniques for capturing images in hot settings.
Desert landscapes are dry, dramatic, and raw. Rainforests are steamy, humid, and wet. And, it just so happens that some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and areas for photographers occur in these warm climate zones.
Capturing photographs in extreme weather presents a unique challenge for photographers. Not only do you have to think of the overall composition and beauty of your image, but you have to consider how your camera will react to the warmth of that environment.
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In today’s article, we’re sharing our top tips on how to capture stunning images in hot weather climates, and everything you need to do to prepare for a photoshoot somewhere warm.
Before you even pick up your camera, you should consider how you’re planning your shoot in order to have a successful day. A good pre-production plan is essential when shooting photos in a warm weather climate.
Warm weather, more often than not, means lots of sunshine and bright light. Planning your shoot according to the light, the weather, and the temperature is essential in warm weather locations.
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If the weather is seriously warm, consider how you’ll bring comfort to the set. Consider provisions for models including water and shade, if you’re going to be shooting somewhere in the heat. In addition, always bring powder for facial touch-ups to minimize any glow from a model’s face.
A diffuser and reflector can be a great assistant when shooting in hot weather climates, so make sure your camera bag is packed appropriately. This will allow you to better control the light on a bright, sunshine-filled day. There are plenty of options for shorter run-and-gun style sets, or full productions.
Bring the Right Photo Gear for Warm Weather
A key piece of advice for any shoot is to ensure that you have the right gear for the job. This is especially vital when it comes to shooting in warm weather.
If you’re in a desert, chances are you’ll be in hot heat all day, surrounded by sand and the natural elements of that place. Ensure that you have a good camera bag that has a rain cover, which can also be used to block sand and prevent sun damage.
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Bring a good ND polarization filter for your camera, specifically for the lens that you plan on using the most. In hot weather, the light can be incredibly bright and a filter can give the photo better contrast by adjusting your colors.
Ensure that you pack extra batteries. Warm weather and humid spaces can drain a battery very quickly, so ensure that you pack extras that you normally might not consider for a typical shoot.
Protect Your Gear from the Elements
Did you know that image sensors create more noise on your images when they’re heated up? To keep your photographs as sharp as possible, try to keep your camera in a shaded or cool spot.
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More often than not, photographing in extreme heat means you could be shooting in sandy, desert environments. To reduce the risk of damaging your camera, avoid changing your lenses while shooting in these types of environments.
If you have to change a lens, try to find a clean spot that’s well protected from the elements before you change your lens.
Acclimatize Your Photo Gear When Possible
Taking your camera into warm, humid air after it’s been in a colder temperature will immediately cause condensation issues.
If you’re going to be switching between two different temperatures, such as shooting in a sauna and outside of a sauna, take the camera into a space while it’s still in your bag. Crack a zipper and allow the camera to slowly warm up to that temperature.
After a period of time to allow for the camera to change temperature, the camera should be able to acclimate better to the warmer or colder environment.
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Please note: Check your camera manufacturer’s heat and humidity recommendations prior to utilizing this tip, as each camera will react differently in warmer temperatures.
Keep Heat at Bay with Additional Help
If you know you’re shooting in warmer climates that have high humidity indexes, consider purchasing some silica gel to keep in your bag. Silica gel absorbs moisture in closed spaces, so have some next to your camera and replace them frequently when shooting in warm weather climates.
In addition, keep a small towel in your bag to keep the camera covered when not in use. Black (typical camera colors) absorbs heat quicker than any other color, so covering it in a lighter towel will help bounce light and heat off the camera quicker than if it was uncovered.
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Another important addition to your camera bag when shooting photos in warm weather is a lens cloth. Cameras are highly sensitive pieces of equipment, so when you’re shooting photos in more challenging climates, you should bring a few of these along to keep moisture at bay while you’re on set.
Need Steam? Try Faking It
If you’re trying to show the heat of a space, say a sauna or a flaming hot grill, without exposing your camera to the elements, try faking it. Atmospheric fog can be a great alternative to steam caused by hot settings.
Available in a can and easy to be transported wherever you are, this is a great on-the-go alternative. You can also consider a fog machine for larger spaces.
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