Monday, January 4, 2010

Cold Weather Photography Tips

This has been a very cold winter so far, and it is not about to let up right away.

Great BLUE Heron

Weather is a very compelling element when it comes to photographs. Where I shoot it is a common thing to get bright or cloudy days, without a lot of wind. Rainy days are often not very good for shooting outdoors, although I've found a good shot on occasions.

When it is cold, it can be good for frozen things, snow, animals behaving differently, etc. Skipping days like that, cold and frozen, can mean skipping a lot of chances for new things.

Lonely Hunter (B/W)

My brief list of tips for shooting on cold days are:
1) allow time for gear to get cold when traveling outbound.
2) allow time for gear to slowly get warm again once you're home (keep in bag, and closed).
3) dress in lots of layers, wool socks and liner socks. Don't wear tight shoes.
4) hats, gloves, scarves, FLEECE!
5) extra batteries
6) eat

In past years I've let the cold get to me. Now I wear wool/smart socks and also liner socks, and my shoes normally are loose fitting. I wear fleece long-johns, which are about 500% warmer than cotton ones. And I dress in lots of layers, none of which are super thick or warm, but when combined they add up, and allow for tweaking and adjusting when conditions or locations change.

I bundle up and use my car as a wind jam often.
Nikon Ninja Behind The Lens

This weekend I went out and with the wind-chill it was about minus-1! But I wasn't cold. Conditions weren't exactly 'friendly' but it didn't stop me or make me wish I had stayed home, because I was prepared.

One thing I may have learned the hard way, is that when going in and out of a warm building - leave the camera gear outside in the cold. I did that, went in with it, a bunch of times while in Maine on a past trip and it may have lead to some damage to my camera.

Berry Bandit

When I'm heading to a place like Bombay Hook and it is below freezing I keep the heat lot, use my heated seats mostly, and roll down the windows for the last 20 miles or so - so things get cold. And in reverse I let the car warm up slowly, and once home, I keep things wrapped up except for removing a memory card or two...

Fair weather photography is easy, tougher weather shooting will build character and you'll get some unique images...

Happy Shootin'





ToadMama said...

Great tips for letting the gear adjust slowly. That GBH shot from the rear is very unique. He looks like he's all bundled up against the cold. Was the Cedar Waxwing taken recently, too. The color in that one is just right.