I got the inspiration for this little hack while doing my Photos for a Rainy Day 'ible. I love taking photos in bad weather, which makes for great pics, but often endangers my equipment. I'm usually taking photos from the shelter of overhangs or under an umbrella, but more often than I like to admit, I'll venture out into a drizzling rain to get a good shot.
Sure, there's waterproof gear for cameras and phones, but I've got a pretty narrow budget, so I use low tech methods for keeping my gear dry. Sometimes I'll tuck the camera or my phone, which I use a lot for photos, under my shirt or in a plastic grocery bag or a pocket between shots. But that's not ideal or always effective. Electronics and water are just better kept apart, as much as possible.
That's where Press n Seal comes in! This little miracle kitchen product has a myriad uses, the primary one which is to keep food containers sealed, but the rest of which involve things like protecting gear from water or dirt in a super cost effective, and pretty efficient manner.
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Step 1: Materials: Press N Seal
- Glad brand Press n Seal.
- And whatever you want to protect.
So the first thing you have to know is that Glad brand Press n Seal is way-cool-bordering-on magic-science. Using "Griptex" technology developed at the turn of the 21st century (which is just fun to say), this plastic wrap alternative employs a double sided thin wax paper-like material that's smooth on one side and covered with tiny dimples on the other. The dimpled side forms a water-tight seal when pressed together. I'd call it Gecko Tech myself - but the point is, it grips cleanly and well. The plastic differs from Saran wrap type materials by being far more well behaved when handled, since it doesn't stick to itself very much, and is easy to reuse.
The product is intended to be used smooth side up, dimpled side down, and pressed onto food containers, causing the tiny dots form a suction seal and keep food fresh and safe in their containers and not spilled into your fridge. plastic, paper, wood, metal, foam and glass. Consequently, Press n Seal's malleability, water resistance, and secure, non-residue producing adhesion system makes it a great tool with lots of uses.
The first time we used it was to cover the motors and other sensitive electronics on a FIRSTTech Challenge robot that our students were exhibiting at a Renaissance Festival. No rain there that day, but a steady breeze that layered everything with a fine coat of dust. The Press n Seal did a great job of keeping everything it covered safe and clean.
Happily, it does the same for cameras and cell phones.
Step 2: Phone Protector
It's easy stuff to use. Pull off the size piece you need and wrap your item !
I poked a hole where the phone camera lenses are, back and front. I smoothed plastic wrap over the screen but just scrunched it over the back when sealing it up. It's up to you how neat you want to be about it, but for maximum protection, make sure you cover as securely as possible.
Obviously the two little camera holes will be your vulnerable areas, but those are significantly smaller spaces that don't expose the phone to significant water or dust problems.
The Press n Seal is also thin enough to allow for sufficient contact and conductivity to operate your phone while covered, as well.
Step 3: Safe and Operable
I exposed the phone a light analog rain shower under the kitchen faucet and it was fine. The water beaded up on the Press n Seal and the phone stayed dry underneath. It was easy to snap pics from both the front and back cameras.
Step 4: Wrap and Shoot
As a matter of fact, all the photos of the DSLR camera were taken with the Press n Seal wrapped cell phone camera, and as you can see, the pics are fine.
The DSLR is a little trickier to protect, since it has lots of different elements to secure - the lens, knobs and buttons. But it's easy to tear off small amounts of Press n Seal so you can use only the amount you need to cover an area, and then just mold it around the area you're trying to protect.
Avoid covering connecting areas, like on your lens, so the wrap doesn't get caught in the connector ring, or wedged inside a knob. But other than that, it's easy to turn the knobs, adjust the lens and push the shutter button.
And there you have it! An inexpensive, easy and effective way to protect your phone, camera and other electronics from dust, silt, and rain!