December 21, 2012 marked the start of our winter solstice. In Minnesota this means 20F temperatures, warm scarfs and beautiful winter landscapes. Anytime you are out photographing in below freezing temperatures, be weary of how your camera can react. Batteries deplete faster, condensation can build on fast warm ups, lenses can fog. To help keep your gear at its best, follow these guidelines.
Tips for Shooting in the Cold
- Pack extra fully charged batteries. To extend rechargeable battery life, keep them warm in your pocket rather than in your camera bag. When possible, non rechargeable lithiums or alkaline batteries are preferred and have better cold weather resistance (an adapter might be needed for SLR cameras).
- Always travel and use rain covers. These keep cameras dry in the snow and sleet.
- Only change lenses outdoors when necessary. If possible go inside, or a sheltered area. If your equipment gets wet, dry as soon as possible.
- Keep microfiber cloths handy for cleaning, and keep dry within plastic bags / containers. Plastic film containers work well for this. Also, know where your cards are stored. Use a waterproof card case to keep cards dry if they ever are dropped into the snow. Brightly colored cases are easier to find.
- I prefer fingerless gloves for dexterity. Mittens can be worn over for warmth. Find a system that works best for you.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY - When you are bringing your electronics back inside, warm them up slowly. Put your camera inside a sealed plastic bag, or I put my whole case inside a cooler. Place them in the coldest area inside to warm equipment up slowly. This minimizes the risk for condensation and shock to the new environment.
Happy New Year Everyone, Enjoy these photos from our last snow fall - Jillian