Living in the desert means summers are hot. If you spend time outside or want to, you need to take steps to protect yourself and your gear. These six tips will help you beat the heat, whether you are working out, photographing, or whatever else you may be doing outside.
- Stay hydrated. Don’t only drink when you are outside. Start before you are going out. Water is great, but if you are spending a long time outdoors, think about adding an electrolyte tab in addition to water.
- Be sure to put on sunscreen before you head out. If you are outside a while or sweating, reapply often. Also, be sure to cover up. A hat is a great way to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your scalp. Lightweight and white long sleeves and pants can help protect your skin too.
- Get out early (or late). Around sunrise and sunset are the best times to get out. The temps are cooler, and the sun isn’t as high in sky relentlessly beating down on you. Plus, if you are out taking photos, blue and golden hour offers the best light!
- Use a polarizing filter. The filter will help darken the sky and reduce glare from the water. It’s a round filter you screw on to the end of your lens. You turn the filter until the sky darkens and take your image! The price range for polarizing filters varies. The quality of the filter increases as the price increases.
- Try to keep your equipment out of direct sunlight. Your camera is an electronic and will heat up in the sun. Batteries can also overheat. Have you ever had your phone warn you that it’s too hot and maybe shut down? The same thing can happen to your camera. If you have to take images in the sun, find the shade for when you aren’t using your gear.
- Avoid using the live view. Much like tip 2, the live view can cause your camera to heat up and kill the battery faster.
- Avoid changing your lenses outside. This tip can apply all year long, but it’s a good reminder. In Phoenix, we have a lot of blowing dust and sand. If you change your lenses outside, you increase the risk of getting it in your camera. If you need to change your lenses, jump in your car before swapping. If you don’t have a car to change in, hold your camera with the lens opening facing the ground. It will make it harder for the dirt to settle on your sensor. If you have to change lenses outdoors, consider having a professional cleaning after making sure to get all the dust and dirt gets removed.