Working in the rain with battery flash


Until the advent of modern portable battery flash I have been careful about working outside in wet conditions with any kind of flash equipment in view of the potential dangers with high voltages etc.

Recently I started a shoot for my Heart of UK Wine blog project and within a few minutes of setting up the rain began - I decided to continue even though I omitted to pack any protective covers for either the lights of my camera.

What you can't see from the images is how hard it was raining, but you get an idea when you see the images of the gear involved - the Pixapro CITI600 with the 65cm portable beauty dish soft box functioned without fail for around 30 minutes. I'm sure the gear would have continued to work had I needed to shoot for longer. Even the ST-IV trigger on the camera hot shoe continued to function as specified.

When finished I meticulously wiped all the gear with micro fibre clothes I keep in my bag & wrap gear in for addition protection - more versatile & less expensive than lens wraps! Upon my return to the studio all gear was removed from bags & placed on stands over a portable radiator on a very low setting to be dried gradually by radiant heat. The following day I used much of the gear for a studio shoot and it functioned as expected.

Please don't think this is the norm, it's not. I recommend that when working with any (delicate) electronic equipment in adverse weather conditions that adequate steps are taken to protect your gear and protect it from the elements.

Normally, I'd use a plastic bag & gaffer tape to make a rain cover, leaving the bottom open for air flow & ventilation.

I have other 400w/s portable battery flash with a separate power pack & head from another established manufacturer - even with a protective cover I would not even think about using them outside in less than perfect conditions! Okay, maybe in strong wind with an appropriate modifier/shaper & plenty of ballast in the form of sand bags to weigh things down . . . but not rain or snow!

That's it for now and don't forget if you really enjoy lighting to visit and join The LIGHT Side - a place to learn, be mentored, nurtured and learn about light, lighting and photography, whatever your level or experience.

My thanks to Yang Wu, Ling Tan & team at Pixapro for providing such great service. If you're in the UK do support them as they do offer a 2 year warranty on their products and it really does save a pile of hassle by not dealing with a overseas supplier of potentially unknown provenance who may not be there when you need them . . .

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