View Full Version : Help on those windy days

24-Mar-2010, 04:23
Okay, it's March in CT and windy enough every day to vibrate the bellows. I usually don't shoot on windy days but the heck with that, I'm layed off and wanna spend some time shooting. I know some of you use umbrellas. Anyone have a favorite that they can share? Or other ideas?


24-Mar-2010, 07:26
Hi Ron,

I found umbrellas to be pretty useless. Half the time the wind is coming from the front, and you don't want to cover the lens with the umbrella ;) The other problem is, that wind is changing direction lots of time, especially amidst buildings. And the worst thing: wind comes in gusts - if you have a large umbrella, like a golf umbrella, it can easyly be that you are tumbling and touch the camera with the cane, it happened to me more often than a vibration free shot with successfully shielding the camera.

So I do not use umbrellas anymore, and search for windshielded spots instead.

Another idea that came to my mind because often there is no shield was to buy a high tent and just build that around the camera. Has anyone ever did this?

Eric James
24-Mar-2010, 07:59
Folks here have a lot of tricks for dealing with wind and weather; some of that wisdom has been shared in older threads.

I use a 6 by 8 foot blue tarp. Once composition and focus are achieved I place a short side of the tarp upwind near the tripod and stand on those two corners. The other end of the tarp is extended above the camera and those corners are held in either hand. I usually have the cable release in my left hand and in some situations I have to resort to holding the upper left corner of the tarp in my teeth. It's not elegant - particularly the moment just before tripping the shutter, with the tarp stretched taut and teeth clenched tight, trying to maintain slack in the cable release - but I have taken super sharp photos in 45 mph winds.

I sometime anchor my tripod to mother Earth if conditions warrant. I use a Gitzo with a hook in the short center column. I carry a piece of 3/4 inch flat webbing that can be adjusted to various lengths with a three-bar slider. One end of the webbing is attached to the Gitzo hook and the other to the middle of my backpack. The backpack is placed on the ground between the tripod legs and the loaded with rocks, or whatever is available. Finally, the webbing is shortened until taut.

Nathan Potter
24-Mar-2010, 10:03
If I can work near my vehicle (SUV with back that opens) then I'll back it around so the front faces into the wind and set up close to the open back. Works very well for most situations. Now I'm making a wind shield for one side which attaches to the upright back door and stakes into the ground for really windy situations. If hiking, I seek out wind sheltered spots and use tripod bracing and weighting to reduce camera motion.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Doug Howk
24-Mar-2010, 17:22
I got a Wind Stabilization kit (http://www.filmholders.com/wskit.html) for my ULF camera, and seems to work very well.

Jay Wolfe
24-Mar-2010, 17:29
Make photos of rocks, not grass.

Andrew O'Neill
24-Mar-2010, 18:17
A stabilizer kit is very helpful. I also hold up my dark cloth to shield the wind if it is coming at the side of the camera. I try to release the shutter between wind gusts. Forget about umbrellas. They are designed for rain, not wind. I HATE shooting in the wind, especially with long lens attached and all that bellows exposed flapping around.

Colin Graham
25-Mar-2010, 05:55
I like the big golf umbrellas, I'm often carrying one anyway for the incessant rain here. Held one handed over the shoulder, it's mostly braced by my back and neck, so I can still use a shutter release or lens cap and not worry about loosing control of the umbrella.

Brook Martin
25-Mar-2010, 06:05
I'll second the ice house idea. There are also some pretty light compact hunting blinds. In a pinch I like to park the truck on the upwind side.

William McEwen
25-Mar-2010, 06:06
Wait. And wait. And wait for the wind to die down for an instant.