The new issue of The Drake Magazine is on the rack. It’s always nice to see your work in print. It takes a team effort to make these images come to life. A big thank you to all those anglers and people involved in the process… and to the print magazines who still hold credible journalism in high regard.
Grab yourself a print copy or order a subscription, you won’t be disappointed and won’t ever miss an issue.
How to photograph when it’s raining, is a question I get asked a lot. Do you bring a rain jacket when you head off to play outdoors or go on an adventure? Of course. Do you stop fishing if it’s raining? Of course not! So, why would your photography and camera equipment require anything less?
So what do you do if you totally spaced bringing rain gear and it rains? With a little forethought, those potential oh sh*t moments when the skies turn grey won’t happen often and won’t keep you from shooting.
Mother Nature is unpredictable, and staying dry isn’t always feasible, sometimes you have no choice but to push it and shoot in the elements unprotected. But obviously, I like to keep my gear as dry as possible. Gear is expensive, so it’s worth it to own and carry some type of rain cover. The last thing you want to happen is something that was easily preventable ruin the rest of your work shoot or vacation.
When you apply the right equipment in the right environment, you’re able to shoot in any condition, from that moody light in the rain to the emotion of a torrential downpour. To capture those dramatic, raw, organic moments, you need to shoot when it’s happening – something you can’t do if your camera is stuck in the bag because of a little rain.
Below are general tools of the trade – the gear I use regularly and depend on. Everything will work with the most current popular camera brands and any level of ability.
FLY FISHING PHOTOGRAPHY: RAIN GEAR
GENERAL GO-TO TOOLS FOR SHOOTING IN WET CONDITIONS
Rain covers offer key components that help make on-the-go outdoor shooting easier and more efficient. The AquaTech and the Think Tank styles use an easy-to-use eyepiece system to keep things in place. I’ve found when dealing with sporadic use, putting the cover off and on (which means switching my eyepiece), I usually swap it out in the morning and leave it on if I think it might rain all day. There’s a small pocket for the eyepiece so you don’t lose it. Both of these designs also permit horizontal or vertical use and can be accessed by its left or right sleeves. Additionally, it’s easily used when your DSLR is mounted to your tripod or monopod. Both of these products have their niche place in our camera gear. There’s room under both of these for a Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter.
AQUATECH ALL-WEATHER SHIELD The everyday workhorse. I’ve used all of them. This one takes the best parts of them all and puts them into one. I use the medium size, as it gives me a range of use from short/wide-angle lenses all the way to the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II. I also use it for my 100-400mm. It’s a tight squeeze, but it works, and for my weight needs it’s better than bringing two. This is a high-performance rain cover: it’s lightweight, compact, and fast to get on and off. Do note that the neck-straps are an after-market purchase: AquaTech quick clip camera strap. AQUATECH HERE
THINK TANK HYDROPHOBIA This is my heavy lifting go-to rain cover; it’s a very dependable staple in my gear rack. A unique feature we like on the Think Tank is the end cap: it fits right over the end of the lens barrel, which is nice when you’re billy-goating over uneven ground in a wet rainforest and trying to protect the front element of your lens. This also has a camera strap built-in. This rain cover is a bit heavier and bulkier than that of the AquaTech but both have their niche place in my gear bag. When you need all the bells and whistles, this is it! THINK TANK HERE
OUTEX: UNDERWATER CAMERA COVER The “before” and “after” elements are often overlooked when thinking about shooting in the rain. The getting ready part and breaking down while in the field seem to slip right past even the sharpest of minds. Trying to keep your pack dry while putting your camera body and lens together and putting on a raincoat never really works that efficiently. If the rain stops for a minute, or maybe even an hour, do you take off the wet cover, put the camera away in the (hopefully) still dry pelican/backpack, and repeat the process another 20 times through the day? Or…?
If I know it’s going to be pouring all day, then I know that my camera will be going in and out of my backpack all day, making things drenched. So in this scenario, I put my camera in this handy little tool, and I keep it out all day ready to shoot – fully protected and fully submersible. It’s not the easiest to use at first, so it really pays to know where your camera dials and buttons are located (you should be able to use your camera in the pitch dark and know it by feel anyway, right?!).
It’s lightweight and takes up little room in the pack. It’s also a great option for when you need to travel with lighter camera bags because of weight or size restrictions. You can add a dome – and you can even shoot with this underwater. Yep, underwater. Kill two issues with one purchase. OUTEX HERE
LENSCOAT RAINCOAT The LensCoat RainCoat is a great affordable rain cover. It provides protection for your camera and lens from the elements like rain, snow, salt spray, dirt, sand, and dust while allowing easy access to the camera and lens controls. No bells and whistles, only what you need. The RainCoat Standard is designed for use with DSLRs with telephoto lenses up to 100-400/400mm f5.6. This is a great bang-for-your-buck piece of gear. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and breathable, and it has taped seams. The RainCoat is quick and easy to use, and the cinch strap allows you to adjust the length of the cover to keep it snug around your lens. It has a fold-out arm sleeve from its integrated pocket for access to the camera controls. You can use it with a tripod, and it doesn’t require an eyepiece. But there’s no camera neck strap. LENSCOAT HERE
OP/TECH USA RAINSLEEVE The cheapest and lightest camera-cover option of the bunch is basic plastic. It works great in a pinch, and it’s very lightweight and easy to store. There’s no real way to use a neck strap without compromising the integrity of the material, so if that matters to you, then buyer beware. It’s durable to a point; in really rugged terrain it’s going to get beat up. But you can bring a few of them for the fraction of the price and the weight. For those really lightweight trips where every ounce is scrutinized, this is a great option.
That said, I suggest you look at these as more of a disposable piece of lightweight gear that is very niche-specific. It will and does work, but it’s not my go-to. BUT this IS something I always have in one of my bags — it’s a great accessory to always have on hand and as a back-up. OP/TECH RAINSLEEVE HERE
UMBRELLA On more than a lot of occasions, I’ve used the trusty umbrella. Some might say it’s the standard rain gear photographers have used for decades (along with a jacket). It’s a great tool when operating a static camera. But in a run-and-gun style of outdoor action photography, it really isn’t that easy to use in a single shooter situation. It’s been done, but ideally, umbrellas are used when there’s an assistant available. And on some occasions, it’s been used as a giant camera cover between thundershowers.
A fellow photographer, Sean Kerrik Sullivan, showed me golf umbrellas. They’re sturdy, have a great surface area, and many have wind vents, which is key. They’re built well. So far, I haven’t had to buy another one. UMBRELLA HERE
DESICCANT SILICA GEL PACK I stick these handy little things in my pack and underwater carrying case to absorb any moisture that I might bring in. These also help prevent rust, mildew, mold, and foul odors. The manufacturer recommends one pack per three cubic feet of enclosed space. On the top face of the desiccant pack, there’s an orange indicator dot; this turns white when it absorbs moisture and lets you know it’s time to change. Maintenance is easy: simply heat an oven at 300°F and bake for at least three hours, or until the orange color returns to the silica beads. The gel will turn back to the orange color again when it’s ready to reuse. DESICCANT SILICA PACK HERE
POOR MANS RAIN COVER
Hotel Shower Caps + Electrical Tape + Rubber Bands + Car Trunk Umbrella w/ Polka Dots
FREE HOTEL SHOWER CAP + ELECTRICAL TAPE + RUBBER BANDS If you open my backpack or pelican case, you’re bound to find a few shower caps crammed in there somewhere. (I learned this trick a long time ago from Jim Klug, who has extensive time behind the lens in off-the-beaten-path global locations.) Shower caps come in handy to outdoor photographers, so I can’t seem to leave a hotel room without taking them. They’ll work great in a jiffy, especially if you use a little electrical tape and rubber bands – just like that, a disposable rain cover.
These items also come in handy for video monitors and keeping other electronic gear dry when it’s wet out and production can’t wait.
<+> Tip <+> Remove the eyepiece before you pull the plastic over the camera, then use the tape to seal the open ends of the shower cap to the glass of your camera (leaving the camera back open), and poke a hole for the lens. Use the rubber band to seal the plastic to the lens sunshade. Make sure you’re zoomed all the way out when you rig it up, that way it’ll flow when you work the zoom of the lens. There’s no right or wrong way to rig this, just about any MacGyver method that gets the job done will work great!
REMOVING WATER FROM YOUR LENS
KINETRONICS ANTI-STATIC TIGER CLOTH I’ve seen more meltdowns from having terrible lens cloths than anything combined from the smudge that can’t ever be un-smudged. To save on hair being pulled out, I use the Tiger Cloth. It picks up most very well. This is also an anti-static, microfiber cloth that’s specifically engineered for cleaning photographic films. The cloth has strips of effective conductive fibers built in the knit; this dissipates or drains off static charges. Yeah, it’s not cheap, but it’s only a couple bucks more than the other lens cloths that suck. NOTHING is more frustrating than trying to clean your expensive lens with a cheap lens cloth you bought to save a few bucks. KINETRONICS CLOTH HERE
GIOTTOS ROCKET BLASTER This amazing product is a staple in my bag, every day for every shoot. Most people use this to safely eliminate dust from sensitive or hard-to-reach surfaces. Another application for these air blasters is to blow water off the lens. Unless you have a pocket full of 10 lens cloth ready to go, the air blaster works fast and easy and keeps your lens cloths drier for a lot longer when working in wet conditions. This gem has a one-way valve on the bottom that brings in clean air and does not redistribute dust or water. A nice design feature is that the blaster stands up on its own and can be set on its side on a flat surface without rolling around, meaning it’s not going to roll off your cooler… as easy. ROCKET BLOWER HERE
Photography tips for the traveling outdoor photographer. There are numerous ways to get the same thing accomplished. My working photo kits are designed for me — a single shooter, usually with no assistant, working in the outdoor elements with needs to be mobile and carry all of my own gear. Of course, we all have different needs, and what works for me might not work for you. After years of trial and error (mostly error), this is my current method to the madness. Enjoy!
We’d love to hear your experiences and ideas.
Tell us more in the comment section below!
The 2021 Expeditions & Guides Annual of Gray’s Sporting Journal is now available. I am thrilled to have a photo essay in this issue.
This essay is a series of images taken in the Yucatan. I’ve traveled around Yucatan Mexico with a camera and a fly rod for many years. More often than not it’s with my good friend Shaun Lawson. Over the years we’ve had quite the adventures. Good fishing, bad fishing, good weather, bad weather, and a few blown-out flip-flops – it’s always quite the adventure to find a size “grande gringo”. We’ve had some camera mishaps, a few parasite issues, a lot of tacos, and met a lot of incredible people. Every trip was always a great trip, the fishing was just a bonus.
Big thanks to all guides for working hard to help us get into fish and of course, help with getting the images. It’s a team effort.
This issue is packed with great articles and some impressive photo essays, it’s not one to be missed.
Be sure to head down to your local shop and grab yourself a copy or better yet, order a subscription, you won’t be disappointed.
EDITORIAL | THE FLYFISH JOURNAL 12.2 Published Editorial
It’s always great to see a few images making it to print. In the day and age of the digital revolution, there is something that is organically pleasing to view, and touch, images on actual paper. A big thanks to those who help make these a reality. Anglers, sponsors, and the lodges, without you these images wouldn’t be possible.
Love print? Me too! Head down to your local shop and grab yourself a copy or order a subscription. Keep print alive, you won’t be disappointed.
+ The FlyFish Journal – http://www.theflyfishjournal.com/
I couldn’t be more pleased to see my image of Argentina guide, Marcela Appelhanz, being used to promote Patagonia Fly Fishing’s new “The Guide Line” program. It’s a new program that connects anglers with experts via video chat to find the right product based on specific fishing situations. Give it a try!
A big thank you to all those folks who allow me to follow them around with my camera and document small significant moments of their life.
BASS PRO SHOPS / CABELAS FLY FISHING CATALOG 2020 Table of Contents
A few images made it into the pages of the 2020 Bass Pro Shops / Cabelas Fly Fishing Catalog this year. I’m always delighted to see our hard work in print. Big thanks to all those that help make these images come to reality.
DAS BOAT, SEASON 2
Introducing MeatEater’s First Original Fishing Series
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be apart of the Off The Grid Studios team that produced the second season of Das Boat for MeatEater, Inc. This project was nothing short of an incredible adventure with an incredible challenge, not to mention the remarkable crew. There were so many people that helped make this series run smoothly, you all know who you are, thank you!
“Last year we jumped into the deep end with MeatEater on a creative endeavor to produce 6 episodes of a show called Das Boat within a considerably tight turnaround timeline. We pushed our team and delivered a respectable season. You can watch it online on MeatEeater’s Youtube channel.
Roughly 9 months ago, we engaged “the team” in the production & collaborative creation of Season II, with sufficient time to exceed our previous season’s show in every way imaginable.
3 months into logistical planning – all of our efforts were confounded by a global catastrophe. Presented with a crossroads, we were left with two options: Crumble under the weight of uncertainty, the unknown and unsurmountable challenges, and bail … or get the team on the open road, overcome and just kick ass.
We decided on the latter.
Without further adieu, Season 2, Episode 1 is available now on the MeatEater YouTube channel. Check out Das Boat Season II. New episodes premiere every Sunday. We sincerely hope you enjoy the pride of our blood, sweat, and tears during this challenging year.” – RA BEATTIE Off The Grid Studios/Beattie Outdoor Production
+ EP1: Steven Rinella + Grant Gully, Michigan
+ EP2: Janis Putelis + Brian Kozminski, Michigan
+ EP3: Joe Cermele + Tim Landwehr, Wisconsin
+ EP4: Oliver Ngy + Kevin Harlander, Wisconsin
+ EP5: Ryan Callaghan + Miles Nolte, Minnesota
+ EP6: Frank Smethurst + Danielle Prewett, Minnesota
DAS BOAT // 2020 PRODUCTION CREW
OFF THE GRID STUDIOS TEAM
+ Producer: RA Beattie, Tim Harden
+ Lead Editor: RA Beattie
+ Editors: Sean McCormick, RA Beattie, Justin Meyer, Alex Baker, Tim Myers
+ Camera Operators: Paul Bourcq, Sean McCormick, Bryan Gregson
+ Camera Assitant: Clint Bartlett
+ Audio Engineering and Sound Design: Troy Hermes
+ Travel Logistics: Kanna Travel, Kimberly Frankie
+ Graphics Animator: Marko Milosevic
+ Colorist: Chromocolor, Darren Hartman, Alex Panton, Zack Morris, Jordan Snider
+ Executive Producer: Steven Rinella
+ Executive Producer/VP Production: Annie Banks Raser
+ Producer/Writer: Miles Nolte
+ Associate Producer: Samantha Bates
+ Associate Producer: Sam Lungren
+ Production Assistant: Seth Morris
YELLOW DOG FLYFISHING ADVENTURES ON-THE-WATER PHOTO WORKSHOP El Pescador Lodge // Ambergris Caye, Belize
Bryan Gregson Photography, Jim Klug and Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventuresare pleased to announce the continuation and expansion of their popular fly fishing photography schools and workshops. Our “On-the-Water Workshops” are designed for photographers of all skill levels and are a great chance for experienced shooters and aspiring photographers alike to join Yellow Dog instructors for a hands-on, adventure-filled outdoor and fishing photography workshop in the field. In November of 2020, our team of adventure angling photographers will once again lead an in-depth and immersive workshop on Ambergris Caye, Belize – one of our favorite destinations for photography. As with our previous schools, this year’s workshop will include daily classes, personalized instruction, field trips, guided fishing, all lodging, and meals.
Our On-the-Water Photography Workshops were created to offer a hands-on learning experience built around real-time fishing, travel and outdoor scenarios. These workshops are taught by working professionals who specialize in adventure angling and off-the-grid travel. Whether a participant is an advanced shooter or someone who is new to photography, this is a curriculum that provides the opportunity for shooters to “up their game” by delivering the tips and tools necessary to create great images. Each participant has the help of an instructor with almost every shot, creating a solid educational experience for all levels.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Everyone! Whether you just purchased your first camera and are wondering what all those buttons are for or you’re a seasoned amateur to the intermediate photographer wanting to make the most of your fishing and travel photography, this workshop will advance your skill level and improve your photos in the field. With two working professional photographers instructing, we’re able (and happy) to teach and accommodate photographers of any skill level. The diversity of instruction and a curriculum designed specifically for outdoor, travel and fishing photography, this workshop will help you to “up your game” and make the most of your future fishing trips.
The new issue of The Drake Magazine is now on the newsstands! It’s been interesting times for our little sport and I’m thrilled to see things are getting back on track with the industry.
It takes a team effort to make these images come to life. A big thank you to all those anglers and people involved in the process and to the print magazines who still hold credible journalism in high regard. In the day and age of sensationalized online media, it’s comforting to see that not all magazines are willing to sell-out for quick sloppy “likes”.
You can help keep print alive! Grab yourself a print copy or order a subscription, you won’t be disappointed and won’t ever miss an issue.
SALMON: A FISH, THE EARTH AND THE HISTORY OF THEIR COMMON FATE Mark Kurlansky, bestselling author of Salt and Cod and many other works
The new Patagonia book, Salmon, arrived in the mail yesterday. I am very pleased to have an image in this outstanding, and very well researched book.
“Salmon: A Fish, the Earth and the History of Their Common Fate (hardcover book published by Patagonia) is Kurlansky’s most important piece of environmental writing in his long and award-winning career. Research shows that all over the world these fish are a natural barometer for the health of the planet. With stunning historical and contemporary photographs and illustrations throughout, Kurlansky’s insightful conclusion is that the only way to save salmon is to save the planet and, at the same time, the only way to save the planet is to save the mighty, heroic salmon.”