For the people living in the north, it’s that time of the year again! With the Earth’s axis tilted to keep the sun a low angle, the nights are longer compared to the days which makes us want to sit indoors for longer periods. We can all agree that when there is a drop in the temperature, the motivation to go out for a shoot seems to be not there. Just sit indoors with a hot coffee and a blanket.
However, there are lots of things you can look forward to during the cold weather when it comes to photography. Although it can be a little challenging, you can enjoy cold weather photography a little more if you have your gear and yourself well-prepared. Interested to know how?
In this post, we are going to learn few measures and tips on how to enjoy photography in the cold winter season.
Also, this post consists of two parts. So make sure you read the second part too.
1) Keeping The Batteries Warm –
Probably everyone is aware of this thing but for those who don’t, batteries discharge faster than normal in cold temperatures. It’s not that because of the drop in temperature the batteries discharge faster, it’s because of the chemical reaction that keeps the liquid in the battery flowing, which just won’t function well in the cold.
So what must one do?
Keep your batteries warm for enough time as possible when you are out shooting. Firstly, have a back up too. Charge your batteries upto maximum and also carry a few extra batteries before heading out into the wilderness. Also don’t fall for the saying that camera accessories must be from the camera manufacturer. You can purchase from third party battery brands which do work good and are just a fraction of the cost.
How to keep the batteries warm?
Simple. Keep the batteries in a pocket that is closer to your body. The heat generated by our body will keep the batteries warm enough and ready to be used in the time of need. Also, while changing batteries, keep the exhausted ones in another pocket to avoid confusion.
2) Dress Like You Own The Weather! —
The more comfortable you are out there, the more creative you’re going to get and you’re going to enjoy even more. It is essential to wear proper clothing according to the weather, especially in the northern regions where the temperature drops. It’s no merry-go-round if you get wet, cold or miserable. It’s not fun and it will result in a shortened shoot and a few missed shots.
There are certain things that needs to be taken care of when dressing for cold weather photography. Remember the three golden rules of cold weather photography.
- Keep yourself dry.
- Take good care of your core.
- Cotton is bad news!
Do not wear cotton clothes. Wear clothes made of good insulating properties, that won’t let moisture settle in and is also comfortable to wear. Cotton clothes are good for a night out or when you’re having fun indoors but you don’t want to go out wearing them for a cold outdoor adventure. Cotton remains wet if gets wet which means you’re going to wet for sometime and get cold eventually.
To survive out in the cold weather, dressing in layers is the key. You can get rid of a layer if it gets too hot or add a layer if it gets to cold. Try to experiment and see what works best for you because the number of layers will differ from person to person. Talking about the layers. The base layers, for the top and bottom should be of a synthetic material, one that wicks moisture and won’t stay wet for a long time. Wear a light vest on the top half over the base layer to your core warmer. If it’s really cold, you can wear a fleece over it. Over the vest, which is an important layer is to wear a waterproof or a windproof shell to protect the other layers.
Now for the bottom half, you could wear a good pair of shell pants on top of the base layer. Your pants could be waterproof or windproof depending on the climate but again, say no to cotton and jeans, especially jeans. Now keeping warm can be challenge at times but it is very important. See what’s appropriate for the weather, like a hat, a wind blocking face mask or socks that follow the no cotton rule as well. Also, make sure the boots have enough insulation to keep you warm when you’re out there shooting.
3) Let Your Gear Acclimate –
When going from a warm place to a cold location, sudden change in temperature will take a harsh effect on your gear. Such drop and rise in temperature cause condensation in and out of the lenses and bodies of your camera which is potentially a bad thing. Try to be prepared to your level best to avoid this situation. Try to get your gear acclimatized before the shoot. You can leave them outside for about half n hour if possible. The trick is to let the gear cool down slowly on it’s own to prevent formation of moisture.
The exact same care must be taken when returning back inside after shooting out in the cold. Before entering a warmer place, you can place the camera and lens in the bag and seal it, Doing this will let the outside of the bag condense instead of on your camera and gear. Or you can simply put everything in your camera bag. Keep everything in a cooler place so that it warms up quite slowly. Give it a proper hour or two to get to room temperature before removing from the bag.
Well, we’ve reached the end of our first part of Tips on winter photography. Hope you’ve carefully read all the points mentioned above implement it. Also, don’t miss out on the second part of this post. Hope this post was informative.
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Thanks for reading,