Need to photograph in a sauna - help!

dangerdoormouse

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Hi everyone

I am new here, so I hope I am writing on the correct thread! Tomorrow I am doing an unpaid job for a friend's charity and it is in a sauna. Now this is the whole point of the shoot, so I can't suggest they do it elsewhere. Does anybody have any idea how to shoot with out having all my lenses mist up for hours on end?

Thanks very much

Helen
 

LaFoto

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Leave it moderately warm only. Have a spray can with you to imitate the sweat on the folks. Don't go much higher than about 40°C so that unclad people won't look cold, but leave the damp and water out or just PRETEND it were hot and humid (like in the moment of dipping scented water onto the hot stones). Bring your kettle, let the water boil and get the steam from there for the short moment only that it'll take you to take your photo.

Oh. And welcome to ThePhotoForum.
We all hope we can always be of help somehow :D.
 
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dangerdoormouse

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Yes, I totally get what you are saying. Not sure I will be able to convince the people though. It is being shot in an actual working sauna and I think things will just be on. I am being called in as a last minute replacement and I think the guy I am replacing it an amature. The sauna are doing the charity a favour by letting it be held there. Hmmm, all good ideas though, will try and speak to my friend about seeing if the sauna can be switch off before we get there.
 

Mike_E

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Use someone else's camera? ;)

If you warm up the camera to a temp above the ambient then it will not fog up. The trick of course is to keep the temp of the camera up there.
 

D-50

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I'd be nervous to do a shoot in a sauna, so much moisture around expensive equiptment, I would say go in set up the people and then get your camera go in take a shot or two and then take your camera out of there.
 
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dangerdoormouse

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Yes, I think that was the approach I was going to take. But from experience of humid places you have seconds before the whole lot steams up. So maybe I need it in there before hand warming up? I don't know. I am in the UK, so my gear will be cold arriving.
 
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Well, a sauna should not be humid, it should be dry. That's the point of them, otherwise it's called a steamroom. Nonetheless the abrupt temperature change might cause condensation. Not good.

I believe LaFoto's set-up is something you should insist on. Get them to lower the temp. Good luck, be sure to share some shots when you get them in the can.
 

Garbz

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Depends on the sauna and exactly when you go in. "Aufguss!" I can't recommend going in there. If the moisture doesn't kill it the 100 degrees will. Is your camera magnesium? Ever seen anyone wear anything metal in a sauna? Supposing the camera does survive you won't be able to hold it very long. Depending on where the sauna is the massive and sudden temperature changes may even damage something before the heat does.

My recomendation let the guys enjoy their sauna, right before the (no idea what it's called in english) aufguss a proper sauna would be cooled anyway so right after the door is opened and fresh air is introduced go in take some photos and leave before the aufguss itself. That way you're not intruding on the participant's enjoyment and you're lowering risk on your camera.
 

chris

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You could put the camera in one of those sealed bag type underwater housings. That would keep the moisture out. Probably best to check on the manufacturer's recommendation for upper operating temperature though before you take it in the sauna.
 

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You could put the camera in one of those sealed bag type underwater housings. That would keep the moisture out. Probably best to check on the manufacturer's recommendation for upper operating temperature though before you take it in the sauna.
it would condense inside the bag...
 

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So don't go inside to take your pictures. Get everything ready as was suggested, have someone open the door, get as close as you feel comfortable doing, take some pictures and step back and close the door for a short time. If you are using a wide angle lens, you should be able to get decent shots of the inside.

I would use a diffuser on my flash though... or set the lights up just inside with umbrellas or softbox (depending how big the sauna is) and use Pocket Wizards to set off the strobes.

Also, some shots through the window could be very interesting if the people inside are placed right.

As far as heat, it's really not going to be any different than having your camera equipment with you when you get into your car that has been sitting on a hot day in the sun. The inside of a car can be 120 to 140 or more degrees and it takes awhile for it to cool if you put your equipment in the back. But I wouldn't stay in there any longer than I had to while I was shooting though.

Mike
 

Viperjet

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I shot a bit in the Biosphere 2 a while back, and when I was in the jungle zone (it was crazy humid, the air was super thick), my lens fogged up immediately. The best thing that I can suggest (I'm not a professional, though...) is to let your camera sit as long as possible. On another shoot in a very humid cave, as we couldn't bring the cameras into the cave ahead of time, we simply set them out in the sun (don't worry, they weren't expensive cameras). I wouldn't recommend setting them in the sun, and If you have them in the sauna, make sure that the camera doesn't get too much condensation.
 

Tiberius47

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I'd fake the entire thing.

Buy or hire a smoke machine and use a spray bottle to fake the sweat. Then adjust the white balance so it's slightly on the orange side, and it will look nice and hot.
 

LaFoto

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Tiberius47 said:
I'd fake the entire thing.
That`s what I had suggested she do in my first reply to her request.
Well, dangerdoormouse ... come back and tell us how it all went! We are super-curious now!
 

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