Tips and tricks on how to take photos in high humidity.

Tricks Tips and Tricks on How to Take Photos in High Humidity

People who wear glasses know only too well how frustrating steamed up glasses can be. This often happens in the winter after spending time outside in the cold and then going inside where it is warm. The lenses remain steamy until they have adjusted to the room temperature. The same thing happens in summer, for example, a glass of ice cold lemonade by the poolside is immediately coated with a wet layer because the outside temperature is higher than that of the lemonade. This cold heat shock can always be seen when the temperature of an object is much lower than that of the ambient temperature. The explanation for this is simple, as warm air can absorb much more moisture than cold air. When warm air hits a cold glass, a pair of glasses, a bottle or even a photo lens, the air cools down quickly and its ability to absorb water decreases and condensation forms, which then appears as tiny droplets on the glass.

What Exactly Happens with Condensation on a Lens?

Regardless of whether it is summer or winter, there is a risk of condensation forming on your camera due to extreme temperature changes. This will cause small drops of water to form on your camera, which can damage the camera if they get inside the device. If you use the camera when this happens it can lead to permanent damage due to the condensation.

If you change the lens on your camera before it has had time to adjust itself to the conditions, this can then damage the sensitive camera sensor, therefore, this should be avoided at all times. When you change the lens condensation can get inside and become trapped, which can be very difficult to remove and this can possibly lead to a defective camera. It is therefore advisable to change the lens and adjust it correctly before entering a warm room.

In any case, the condensation that forms on the lens is an absolute hindrance when trying to take photos. In a botanical hothouse or in a kitchen where food is being prepared the lens and room temperature are often very different and there is a high level of humidity. High humidity can also occur at events in enclosed spaces where there are lots of people, such as concerts or at formal occasions.  However, one of the most important questions to think about is how you can still take photos in high humidity?

A photo showing the inside of a hothouse.

How to Stop Your Camera from Steaming Up

To prevent your camera lens from steaming up, you should first allow your camera to adjust to the room temperature. To do this, it is best to pack your camera in a camera bag or alternatively in a simple plastic bag. When putting your camera into a bag make sure that you can close it and that there is little to no air in the bag. Resealable bags are particularly suitable for this. If a layer of condensation does form, then this will be on the plastic bag and not on your camera. Leave your camera (depending on the difference in temperature) in the room for up to an hour without using it and without extending the lens. During this time, the apparatus can slowly warm up and adapt to the room temperature. Once the camera has acclimatised, you can then safely use it again and the lens should no longer be steamed up.

You can also use inexpensive colour-neutral protective filters that can be attached to the front of the lens to help protect your camera from moisture. Furthermore, you can protect your camera and the lens by wrapping it in a plastic bag whilst taking photos. In addition to a conventional plastic bag, there are also waterproof protective covers that are well adapted to the shape of a camera. A very safe but also very expensive option is an underwater camera bag or housing. However, it is recommended to only purchase these if you are regularly going to be taking photos underwater. It is also advisable to always have a microfibre cloth with you to dab off any condensation that arises.

If you are going to be visiting a botanical hothouse you could let your camera and any accessories acclimatise to the forthcoming warm and humid conditions. For this purpose, the camera should be placed in the footwell of your car with the ventilation pointed towards it as the warm air will get your camera acclimatised to the warm temperatures.

What Should You Do If There Is Moisture Inside Your Camera?

As a general rule a little bit of moisture shouldn’t cause any problems. Nevertheless, you should still be careful and in general you should protect your camera as much as you can from any moisture and high humidity such as rain, snow or condensation.

If moisture does get inside your camera, you should immediately disconnect the power supply and remove the battery and the memory card. It is also advisable to remove the lens and to leave the device to dry. There are two ways to do this, either you can put your camera in a bowl of uncooked rice and leave it dry in the sun or you can put it in the oven on the lowest setting (maximum 35°C). In the latter case, however, you should always keep an eye on your camera and open the oven door from time to time to let any moisture out.



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