I often shoot time-lapse photos in harsh outdoor environments, and over the years I have discovered a number of odd items that are useful for my work. One of them is sanitary napkins (AKA sanitary pads).
Apologies if you find the idea unappealing, but I have found that sanitary napkins are much better than conventional silica gel bag products. Traditional desiccants can work very well, but they often need to be dehumidified if you’re constantly in a very wet environment.
I use sanitary pads for two purposes. The first is to reduce humidity inside sealed hard cases, since condensation can cripple your lens for hours.
The second use is in drying out lenses that have gotten water inside them. Wrapping them inside a sanitary pad helps them to dry out much faster.
If you don’t completely dry out your lens after a wet shoot — even if you don’t see signs of water or humidity with a visual inspection — you could find ugly spots in your photos the next time you use your lens.
And that’s why sanitary napkins have become an unusual item in my camera bag.
About the author: Alexy Frangieh is a Lebanese time-lapse photographer and a Nikon Ambassador to Lebanon and the Middle East. You can visit his blog to see more of his work and learn more from his experiences. He also maintains a newsletter that provides regular content to subscribers.