There are a few photographers who really, really want to venture out in the rain, afraid that their cameras and lenses, or perhaps their own delicate selves, will be damaged. (After all, look what water did to the witch in the Wizard of Oz.) But don’t be afraid of getting wet. You can always cover your camera with my old stand-by shower cap that most decent (anyway) hotels provide in each room. This cheapie solution was a big help on my trip to Japan and kept a Canon Digital Rebel dry between shoots in and around a rainy Tokyo.
For a little more substantial solution, like shooting during the downpour during a past US Grand Prix at Indianapolis (above,) you can use one of Op/Tech USA’s Rainsleeves. They are available in four sizes with prices from $7.95 to $9.95. These are must-have accessories for all outdoor photographers, not just motorsports shooters, and offer protection from rain, sand and snow yet easily fit in your pocket or camera bag. Rainsleeves feature an eyepiece opening that adapts to most camera viewfinders, allowing composition of shots through the camera’s lens, not through the plastic. And all camera and lens controls are easily seen and operated through it. An at these price points you can go wrong.
If you’re shooting with the camera mounted on a tripod, consider attaching an umbrella to that three-legged necessity. This is easy to do with one of the many Manfrotto clamps also available.