Avoiding Water Drops

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The dreaded water droplets, destined to ruin even the best water shot. In this hopefully brief post I hope to help you overcome and avoid getting water drops on your lens when taking surf and water shots.

Now this is a problem that goes back as far as water photography has been around. The feeling of disappoint you get after a solid session swimming in some heavy surf against some ridiculous currents, you finally think you have some epic cover worthy shots, then you get to the beach anxious to pull the camera out the housing and review your images, only to discover all the best shots have water drops in frame, and always in the worst possible places, it is just indescribable.

Unwanted Water Drops

Commercial Products

Now there are a few ways around this, a lot of products are on the market which claim to dispel water from lenses and goggles etc. Now when it comes to surf photography these products don’t always produce the desired result, they may prevent a film or larger drops collecting but they generally cause the water to bead up and you still sometimes get those dreaded in image water drops.

Dome Ports

One of the most tried and tested ways, one which I and many other surf photographers use, is the power of saliva. Yes it may sound a little weird at first, and people that aren’t in the know look at you funny, but a simple lick of that dome port just before you are about to shoot makes miracles happen, it produces a film over the lens which keeps those water drop at bay and helps you get that perfect image you are wanting.

Water Drops Ruin good shots
This may seem like motion blur but it is actually the effect of a water drop in line with the body boarder.

FlatĀ Ports

Now you see I mentioned dome port there, the idea is to keep a dome port wet and a flat port dry, how do you keep a flat port dry when you are swimming? Simple, keep it out the water, but we all know that is impractical, so another trick which works well is to rub your finger on the side of your nose or just behind your ear. Yes its another body trick, the oils your skin produces are great for keeping water off your port, so get those fingers oiled and give that port a rub all over, they try keep it out the water when you are in the line up as much as possible, this is the best way to avoid water drops on a flat port.

I usually use a dome port and it has become second nature to me to lick my dome between shots or after doing some swimming (If you wonder what housing I use click here). If you have any other tricks, drop them below in the comments.

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