How to Safely Take Your Camera To The Beach
Planning on taking your camera equipment to the beach? Well, even if you just have a disposable camera, you are going to need to take precautions against the sand and salt. But if you have delicate equipment; planning and strict procedures are crucial to keeping your equipment from being ruined by the harsh elements that sand and sea can create.
For keeping your camera safe at the beach, plastic zip lock bags are a godsend. You can safely store away your gear in separate bags to keep it safe from the elements. Of course, the trouble starts as soon as you have to use them. Once they are exposed to the atmosphere your lenses, camera body and accessories begin picking up abrasive sand crystals and salt residue from the ocean.
Another handy and easily accessible item to consider storing odd shaped equipment in are are plastic shower caps. And keep a big black trash bag handy in case you need to cover the whole setup quickly.
You will also be glad you brought along some static free wiping cloths, preferably the micro fiber variety that can clear off particles that you can't see with the naked eye. You can then wash the cloths later to remove the sand for the next use. You will also want to include fresh unused plastic zip lock bags (stored in a zip lock bag) to put your equipment back into, because you will often find that sand and sea grit can sneak into the open bags before you know it.
Another bright idea is to snuggle your delicate equipment into socks, giving you not only protection from the elements but a cushion against impacts, although you cannot count on them to keep out the water. Once again, carry some extra clean socks in case the ones you pack in get dropped in the sand.
If you prefer to acquire some more professional looking carrying cases than plastic bags and socks, consider purchasing waterproof 'raincoats' for your camera and accessories. Aquatech Sport Shields in Australia specializes in such handy gear.
The other aspect to consider when protecting camera equipment at the beach is planning and executing your shots in a way that leaves the equipment exposed for a minimum amount of time. Even if you are using a disposable, the longer it is exposed to the harsh beach environment, the more likely your pictures will suffer. But if you are doing elaborate photography that requires lens changes, light meters and tripods, you will definitely want to be fussy about putting everything away as soon as you are done with it, and keeping spare lens caps in easy reach and wiping cloths handy.
With proper planning and supplies, protecting your camera at the beach doesn't necessarily require expensive or elaborate gear. But it does require planning, ingenuity and attention to the details, as well as follow up when you return from your adventure. Always throughly clean your camera and case when you return from a shoot at the beach, because the corrosive nature of the salt will eat away at your equipment if not throughly removed.