It’s July, one of the hottest months of the year in most of the country. Some parts of the U.S., particularly the Southwest, have seen some of the hottest weather in quite some time. And there is no question that when you add high humidity to high temperatures, the discomfort level rises.
Heat and humidity doesn’t mean you can’t go out and photograph. It just means you have to pay attention to a few things.
Some of the best light for nature photography comes early and late in the day, particularly for landscapes. Those are great times a day to be out in the heat coming anyway. And of course, you need to be sure you are drinking lots of water and you are being careful of overexertion.
Let’s look at dealing with your gear in the heat. Our gear today is filled with electronics, including lenses. Electronics don’t like high heat and can be damaged from it. So one thing that you really have to be careful of … leaving your camera and other gear in the car when it is sitting in the sun and really heating up. I won’t do it. It is just too risky for potential damage to the gear.
When the sun is strong, be careful about leaving a black camera directly exposed to the sun for any length of time (such as sitting on a tripod while you rest). It can be surprising how much a black camera can heat up which can potentially cause damage to the electronics on the camera and lens, plus it may even affect the lubricants in the lenses.
Another important heat issue is condensation. You know what happens when you bring a cold glass of water out into warm, humid air. It gets covered with water from condensation.
The same thing can happen to your camera when you bring a camera chilled by air-conditioning out into warm humid air. That can cause moisture to form on your lens surfaces, which can affect how quickly you can shoot. Condensation can also be a problem because you may get moisture building up inside the camera which is not good. Now if you are in the desert where there is no humidity, then you probably won’t have this problem.
So when you’re outside photographing this summer, remember to take care of yourself, take care of your gear, and look to be outside at the cooler times a day.