• Daniel Wretham

Photography Clothing Guide

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

As autumn comes it brings with it new challenges for the photographer, Are you equipped to deal with the changing weather and make the most out of your time outside ?

One of the most important things you can do is be comfortable while out taking pictures, you are often stood for long periods of time waiting for just the right moment of light to hit.

The elements will be doing their very best to hamper the photographer in their quest by throwing out challenge after challenge.

So you could just stay at home when the weather looks bad right ? Well, you could but chances are you might well be missing some of the best light. As bad weather clears this is often the moment the lighting will be at its most dramatic and it can be fast and fleeting so you have to be out there and ready to get that picture as it presents itself.

Photographers present a fairly unique challenge for clothing, we often walk many miles keeping good body temperature but then we stand stationary for long periods of time often in really horrific conditions so we need clothing that can adapt to our situation as and when it happens.

Manufactures have come a long way with their fabrics these days and much understanding has been gained over the years in how to keep both warm and dry.

I happen to really get into this subject as I work with clothing for motorcycles and see much of the development in waterproofing and membranes and abrasion resistance so I have a good understanding of how this translates into good well suited products for walking.

So how do we best serve our purpose of light chasing photography ? The answer is simple and has been around for a lot of years, The layering system.

The Layering System.

So what is the layering system ?

As the name suggests its based on three simple layers which each serves a function and combined can offer the ultimate solution.

Layers trap air, this will keep you warm but combining the right ones is the all important factor here.

Layer one is a base layer, this is worn against the skin and is made from materials like polyester and polypropylene and they have excellent wicking qualities that will pull sweat away from the body and not hold it.

There are thousands of brands that make base layers and they go from cheap to sky high, why ? I hear you ask. Well, as always you get what you pay for.

Cheap base layers will do the job and are fine for short walks but they do end up being quite smelly if you are pushing yourself and sweating a bit. More expensive tops address this fact and are made with products like polygiene & bamboo and will control the odour very well and are much better suited to hard treks.

Base layers come in T-shirt or full sleeve versions as well as leggings and even underwear if you're really into it that much !

This is the number one essential item in your quest to stay comfortable and every photographer should invest in a few in my humble opinion.