Camera PPE – Photography in a Pandemic

Photographing for “Humans of the Pandemic” involves me photographing hospital staff in the middle of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. How do I keep myself and my camera clean?

I use my Outex underwater housing and all the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

The COVID-19 coronavirus has put much of the world on hiatus, while healthcare bears the brunt. My medical school teaching has been paused to concentrate clinicians’ time on the patients that need them. Like many others, I’ve been working on the wards to help where I can.

I’m currently in the midst of a personal portrait project, focusing on the wide variety of staff caring for patients across George Eliot Hospital. My perspective as a medical student and equipment as an underwater photographer make me perfectly placed to capture what’s happening.

My setup

  • Nikon D750 + Sigma 35 / 85 mm lenses
  • Outex Pro Kit + 67 / 77 mm front elements
  • Pergear MTL-900 light stick (lightsabre)

To photograph underwater, I’ve been using Outex underwater housings since 2015. Their airtight, easy-wipe-clean material keeps my camera and lens fully encased away from danger, while I can still see and press everything.

Moving around the hospital means constantly cleaning the camera between environments. Rather than using disinfectant wipes on every nook, cranny, button and glass, I can easily wipe clean the smooth material or even wash the entire camera under soap and running water.

The Infection Control team at George Eliot Hospital have been enthusiastically impressed so far. In buying a used Icelight-style lightsabre, I can add highlights to my portraits on the fluorescently lit wards, in an inconspicuous, non-flash, easy-wipe-clean format too. Win-win.

I whole-heartedly recommend any photographers or photojournalists who want to photograph in clinical environments – pandemic or not – to keep their camera clean using Outex. According to their website, it meets the USA’s CDC recommended guidelines for safety with electronics and they’re currently offering a 15 – 25% discount on purchases. And you can shoot underwater too, for much cheaper than a hard-case housing.

Since Outex is helping my project, I’m helping raise awareness for them in the medical photography world. If you place an order, please mention my name Matthew Thompson during the process, or click the link below when making your purchase. Thank you!

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