Not a fun day at the Detroit Grand Prix on Friday. As luck would have it, 10 minutes prior to the American Le Mans Series taking to the track for their first practice session, Michigan's weatherman decided the track needed washing down. While that may have been true, the timing couldn't have been more inconvenient.
So, what does the working photographer do? A couple of things. First, recognize that it is what it is and you need to get your job done. Man up and figure out a plan of attack. Second, try to protect your equipment as best you can.
In the first scenario, take some encouragement in the fact that while the rain is uncomfortable to work in, the end product could be some pretty spectacular looking shots. If you really want variety, rain adds an element that isn't present at every event. The spray, the colors, reflections... and even the evenly distributed light can all work in your favor. So, once you get past griping that it sucks to be out there, take a closer look and see what you can come up with.
Take care of your equipment. There's no "best case" scenario in the rain. There are protective covers available and they can range in price from $30-$250. Nothing is fool proof (or rain proof) but if you can do something, you should. I'm not an advocate of spending a ton of money since I'm not convinced any of them are a perfect solution... but if you can do something, you should.
After shooting in the rain, the first thing I will do is remove the covers, remove the memory cards and batteries and with the lens mount open, place the cameras face down. Try to get air (but not dirt) circulating through the camera to help dry any moisture that may have seeped in.
Unfortunately, Friday in Detroit stayed humid and, as luck would have it (again), we got more rain in the afternoon session. With no rain in the forecast for race day, a lot of teams were apprehensive about going on track in the wet. Temporary courses are tough at best, but no one wants to bend the car in the rain. Hence, if you're out their shooting, you're going to see a lot of repetition of the same few cars. Only if rains during the race will you get the full compliment of cars.
So, that was out day on Friday. Shoot in the rain, go dry out... shoot in the rain again and hope everything works on race day.