Taking pictures in bad weather


I was out all day yesterday to take pictures of kids football championships. The weather was not the best. Very cloudy, misty rain, temperature drop in the afternoon … I think you get what kind of day it was.

One of the issues I had was that my lens started fogging up, especially between my filter and the lens. I had to take the filter off for the rest of the pictures. This unfortunately lead to some really dark pictures because the brightness sensor picked up the haze.

Anyways, any good ways to prevent your lens fogging up like this? Especially in the afternoon when the temperatures drop and you camera gets colder?

I quarantine the camera in a plastic bag whenever I move it to areas of contrasting humidities to let the camera warm up or cool down toward the ambient temperature.


Thanks for the tip. I was at the same field and was shooting more or less non stop for 11h. Didn’t really have the time to warm up the camera. I had a rain protection around it of course.

Usually warm air contains more water than cold air. If you mount a filter to your lens while being in a warm room and then go into the cold, the water between the lens and the filter will condense.

Mounting the filter to the lens (both already cooled down) in the cold may solve this issue.


Oh I get that. The problem is that I couldn’t have done that. I started shooting at 9 am and was done by 9:30 pm, so 12.5h, and I was outside all day. The camera warmed up and since it isn’t really a tight seal between filter and lense moisture creeps in. When it cooled down in the afternoon it simply fogged up, especially when it suddenly got darker.
Maybe I simply try to air out that the air in between now and then the next time.
Another Idea I had is to see if I can get a REALLY small salt back, that I can out in between to suck up the moisture.

I will do more shoots like that in the future and want to be prepared.

What filter is it? Do you find it necessary?

Wouldn’t that scratch the lens or filter?

It’s a UV filter. Nothing special. I mainly have it on there to protect the lens. I’d rather scratch/break the filter by accident than the lens.

Not if it is in a package. Worst case I could get another cheap filter and glue it to the inner ring of it.

You can try tightly wrapping a piece of cling wrap around the thread of your filter. It should stop outside air from going in. Also try cleaning the outsude of your filter with something like RainX. It should stop it from fogging the outside surface.
You can test this apparatus beforehand in a stimulated situation.

It depends on where the moisture is getting in. I would place plumber’s tape around the thread; pretty much the same as your suggestion.

Doesn’t this also coat the surface? – which may affect the optics…

I think RainX works by sealing the microscopic holes on the glass surface so that water molecules don’t have any hold (reduces the surface tension). The chemical evaporates after some time and is clear. I was only thinking aloud. I never faced this problem so haven’t tried it myself.

Don’t. Ever. Do. That. Salt will suck up nothing but will most likely destroy your gear. Use silica gel if you must (I always have 3 little bags of it in my camera kit), but nothing else.

What you are dealing with is called the dew point. You always get vapour diluted in air, but as the air temperature decreases, one volume of air can contain less vapour, and if you cool down humid air (on cool surfaces, for example), the amount of vapour that can’t be contained in air anymore will be condensed to equilibrate the concentrations.

The solution of that is equilibrium. If both the air and the glass are at the same temperature, no condensation will ever happen. Just let your gear rest at the location’s temperature, possibly dismounting the lens to avoid inner fog (watch out dust though).

Those were actually the bags I was thinking about.

The problem is that I have 3 “zones” the outside air, the air between filter and lens and the camera/lens. When I just shoot outside all day I shouldn’t have an issue between outside air and camera. They should stay the same temperature with the camera and lens probably a bit warmer as I am holding them with my hands. Additional info here: I am in Canada so the temperatures I am talking about are about 10 above freezing at the moment.

The real challenge is between filter and lens as that area is not really ventilated. If the temperature drops and the air can’t hold the water anymore it will start to condense and there is nowhere for it to go. The coolest part will probably be the glass of the filter, so that is where it will condense first and fog things up.

It’s snowing and “feels like” -10 where I live.

Take it off and put it back on again.

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If it is dry cold it shouldn’t be an issue. I live close to Vancouver. So wet and temperature drops right now.

That’s what I did but it takes a bit for it to actually defog. Was right in the middle of the awards at the end of a game. I shot without the filter for the rest, which worked.

Just trying to source as many ideas as possible.

Try using a dust blower or mini fan to remove the moisture. Indeed, the timing can be bad. I am really bad with the camera in general, so I end up fumbling the shots.

I spent 7 winters in Montréal, shooting streets during snow storms up to -25°C. I just removed the filter. Indeed, the air trapped between the lens and the filter makes things difficult, but you need to make compromises there. Of course, going from outside to inside, you can’t use your camera for a solid half hour.

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As a Southern Californian, I find these issues intriguing. I have never experienced them.

We only have three seasons here: summer, not summer, and FIRE!


As a kayaker I travel on the water with my camera gear - rain or shine. Although my camera and a few select lenses are weather sealed I keep a chamois cloth with me to dab any moisture from my camera and the lens. The chamois is made of material - usual sheep skin - that soaks up water like a sponge. It’s malleable, weighs next to nothing , easy to wash and inexpensive. Usually found in the automotive section of your local department store.

You can hold it in your hand and when required lightly dab the water from your gear and lens. Works wonderfully.