Digital cameras, weather and water

Digital cameras & salt air

Written by Gail Bjork

What to do before and after your digital camera is exposed to salt air.

Digital camera at the oceanAfter taking photos at a place where your digital camera is exposed to salt air, it’s important to clean it as soon as possible after use. But before you leave for your destination, make a few simple preparations.

Before your outing

Consider purchasing a lens adapter, if needed, and a skylight or UV filter. They provide added protection from the elements for the lens barrel and the lens itself.

If you’ll be traveling for several days, pack a soft, absorbent mircofiber cloth and some lens tissue. Seal them in a tight plastic bag so they won’t absorb moisture. Put a packet of silicon gel in each chamber of your camera bag to help reduce moisture and condensation.

When exposure to salt air is going to be particularly heavy or prolonged, invest in a waterproof housing to give the camera extra protection.

While not as foolproof as a waterproof housing, some individuals cover their camera with a plastic bag. They cut a hole in the front of the bag where the lens will protrude, place the bag around the camera and secure it the bag with a rubber band. The bag is thin and flexible enough to access camera controls.

After your outing

Wipe the body of the digital camera with a slightly damp cloth, using fresh water. Clean the surface of the lens and the LCD according to the general camera care suggestions. Do not apply fluids directly on the camera.

If you’ve used a lens adapter and filter, detach and clean them too. If the weather was hot humid, remove the batteries and memory card from the camera, open compartment doors and let everything air out for about a half hour.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.