At one point or another, when chatting with a nature photographer, the conversation will digress, and you end up talking about poor weather conditions and how to protect your gear. “Oh, you know, I just use the Ziploc bag trick.” “Ah, yes, the Ziploc bag trick…of course.” And then the main discussion continues.
Once back home, you think about your nice exchange and how inspiring it is to talk about photography with a real adventurer—he even protects his camera with a Ziploc bag. Wait a minute! How does that work? How do you actually get the ultimate camera protection out of a Ziploc bag?
• One large Ziploc freezer bag
• One UV filter
• One screw-mount lens hood (or a second UV filter)
• Duct tape
First, place the lens hood (attachment side down) on the part of the Ziploc that has the printed logo on it and trace the inner circle of the screw-mount attachment. The point of positioning the lens hood hole on the printed side is so that the viewfinder and camera controls will be seen through the clear side of the bag when in use. Next, cut out the circle you traced, making sure that you don’t cut too wide. Then put the lens hood on the opening and the UV filter inside the bag. Screw them together while ensuring that the bag is stuck between them. Now you’re almost done. All that’s left is to add some weather protection by wrapping duct tape all around the outside of the lens hood where it meets the bag. (This is why I prefer to use a lens hood instead of a second filter—there’s more room for the tape.) That’s it! Put the camera inside the bag, screw the lens to the filter and close the bag. Welcome to the Ziploc Bag User club; we even have a secret handshake!
You can also drop a small desiccant pack in the Ziploc bag with the camera to absorb humidity—these are really cheap. In fact, when a store receives its merchandise, the packages are usually filled with these desiccants. Many eco-friendly retailers are keeping them for reuse and might be more than happy to give some to a nice, polite client like you.