We got back home Tuesday morning at 1:00am. After delays and diversions to airports not on our itinerary it was 24 hours of travel without sleep, and I’m still trying to catch up.
We had a very good trip even though it was partly cloudy and rainy the whole time. For Normandy it was often disappointing because when you visit a place for the first time you always want everything, including the weather, to be perfect. For Paris I’ve been lucky enough to photograph all day long on absolutely “perfect weather” days before, and I didn’t expect the weather to be the same this time. It’s just normal for Paris.
I actually expected it to be rainy in Paris to the point that I was looking forward to it and the challenge of going out and photographing anyway. I did, and I got some really nice shots out of it. I’m not ready to share the photos yet, but I will share how I walked around with my camera in the rain.
One of the old, old photography “tricks in the bag” is nothing more than a shower cap. Yes, a shower cap, especially the free ones once readily available in hotel rooms in a little box in the bathroom. They’re not so easy to come by anymore, but whenever I stay in a hotel that includes one I keep it. I have several of them that I’ve acquired over the years.
A shower cap is virtually weightless and can be smushed into the tiniest pockets on a gear bag. The traditional use of a shower cap is for landscape photography. You keep one handy when shooting using a tripod on rainy days. If the intensity of the rain starts to pick up, then you just put a shower cap over the camera until it passes.
Another advantage is that its thinner than a zip-lock bag, allowing you to still manipulate camera controls through it.
I started by putting a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon D800. It’s light and easy to carry, and I have a metal lens hood that works great on it.
The next step was to unhook my elastic camera strap (which, by the way, is the best piece of photography equipment that I have ever owned). It has two snap locks so that I don’t have to totally remove the strap from the camera. I unsnapped each side and snapped the opposing sides back together. Then I folded it beneath the camera and applied a bit of gaffer’s tape to keep it in place. Gaffer’s tape is also one of the best things you can keep with you. I used it a lot on this trip. I keep a cut-off piece from a round wooden dowel in my camera bag at all times. Around the dowel I’ve wrapped several feet of gaffer’s tape so that I have enough with me without carrying the whole roll everywhere.
Next I covered the camera with the shower cap and brought the elastic band to the metal lens hood which provides an excellent platform on which to gaffer tape the shower cap to the camera.
As I walked around with the camera I was careful to just keep the lens pointed down to the ground when I wasn’t shooting. All in all, the setup was very easy to do and it worked perfectly! I was even able to untape the shower cap afterward without tearing it and keep it for another day.
Here’s a self-portrait that I shot using a mirror outside the National Archives in Paris: