Stay Out in the Rain

The last week of September in elk country was rainy. In fact, it rained every day I was there!

A photographer has to decide what to do when it rains. Should we wait it out, keeping our equipment dry, and wait for the weather to break? Or, should we tough it out and go out in the rain anyway? Will our equipment get ruined in the rain? Can we withstand the discomfort of the rain long enough to capture any usable photographs? What do you do when it rains?

I love the outdoors and have a lot of experience weathering the storms. I spent a lot of time hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing over the years. I’ve even dabbled in mountaineering on two 17,000+ feet mountains. Changing weather is part of the experience in nature and I’ve learned that we can endure even some extreme weather if we are well-prepared, have the right equipment, and allow our minds to catch up with our spirits! I had a football coach tell us that our bodies will do far more than our minds will allow. I believe this is true. Some of the problems in society today are due to us listening too much to our minds and all the negative thoughts instead of just following our more daring spirits and toughing it out!

So two weeks ago I was faced with a dilemma: photograph in the rain or stay inside to hope and  wait for better conditions. I actually did a little of both over the week, but I am so glad I also ventured out into the rainstorms. I even got caught in a downpour on a hike when I was two miles from my cabin. I didn’t mind though because I had packed my rain jacket and a plastic bag to protect my camera. A little rain wasn’t going to melt me, so why sit inside all day? Besides, I would never have captured some of the photographs had I stayed inside hoping for better conditions!

This photograph of a 6×6 bull was taken in less than ideal weather conditions. The sun was not shining, the fog was moving in an out, and the rain was lightly falling. But I like this photograph. Somehow the big bull appears to stand out from the background and the viewer can see the wet fur, which seems to add to the aura of this photo.

Lesson learned! The next time it rains, instead of complaining, I will take my camera out anyway. Besides, my camera and my body are much tougher than my mind sometimes thinks!

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