|Spot pretty much in the middle of the photo, shot at f22.|
Oh dear, this is meant to be summer! Midsummer even, the nicest time of year, long days, warm nights, BBQs, sea swimming and dawnchorus. Lovely sunsets and misty dawns, getting up at 4.30 am for early-morning-shoots of empty streets. No such luck! Confined to the house due to rain? Wait a minute, no, you can still go shooting when it’s wet.
Cameras and rain don’t go well together. Having spent big bucks on a marky Mark, I wouldn’t really like to put the 5d2’s weatherproofing to the test. On the other hand I don’t want to be too precious with my camera – it is, first and foremost, a tool, not a precious valuable. According to the spec sheet, the 5d2’s weathersealing is the same as the 1d3. I take it that means it is made from the same magnesium alloy shell as the 1d3 and buttons, switches and external seams are water- and dustproof.
Thus informed, I headed out and defied the rain. Admittedly, I didn’t take any risks, shooting close to the house, but nonetheless catching a good few drops of rain and general dampness on the camera’s body. And marky Mark did fine, I must say – there was no problem with condensation on the lens or water-logged screens.
However, it doesn’t hurt to have a troubleshooting plan, just in case you should ever drop your equipment in a river or get caught in a tropical rainstorm. First thing to do – after recovering the precious camera from the depths of the ocean – is take out CF card and battery to prevent short-circuiting. Clean the camera and lens with a soft cloth as much as you can. Then place the camera near a heatsource in a bowl of rice. The rice will soak up the humidity and help dry the camera.
Alternatively, splash out! *um* that may be the wrong word in this context. So, invest in a waterproof case. Nah, not really – that would set you back one and a half grand. But you could just fashion something from a freezer bag and a few rubber bands. Not ideal, but a work-around just in case…
A solar eclipse happens once in a blue moon, if you pardon the
sun pun. Tuesday was one such occasion. A partial solar eclipse was forecast between sunrise at 8:40 am and 9:30 am. The last solar eclipse I was present at was a complete one in summer 1999, unfortunately hidden behind a blanket of mist in smoggy Würzburg, Germany. I was hoping for a better view the day before yesterday, especially considering that morning skies in Ireland tend to be clear (rain clouds usually only appear from 10.30 am…) Well, I was not in luck. There was a clear sky over Dublin Bay (which is where the sun rises to the East of my house) but this being the winter, the sun was too low in the sky to look over the rooftops of the surrounding houses. I caught the watercolour sky, though, and it was a worth-while photo-op.