Posts Tagged ‘Snow’

Using Your Camera in Cold Temperatures

February 21, 2008

“Snow 6”
© Copyright David Cresine

Ray Davis is no stranger to cold climes. He used to live in Alaska and decided to winter in Chicago this year, where temperatures frequently fell well below zero.

In spite of the cold — or perhaps because of it — he’s put together some great tips in this article on photodoto.com about how to use your camera outside in cold temps while minimizing the risk of damage.

Ray advises snow photographers to:

  1. Invest in a UV filter. This can protect your lens and, if it shatters because of the extreme temperatures, it will only cost 10 bucks to replace.
  2. Buy a decent camera bag and keep it warm. Put some padding around the camera and then invest in some hand or foot warmers, which can be purchased from a sporting goods store for very little money. But wrap them up first so they don’t accidentally leak on the camera equipment.
  3. Buy a giant zip lock bag. Ray says it’s the damage from cold to warm that can damage your camera, particularly as condensation occurs when the cold air meets hot air. If you put your camera in a zip lock bag and seal the top when bringing it in from the cold outdoors, it will reach room temperature more slowly and is less likely to be damaged by condensation.

If you do find condensation on the camera, don’t turn on the camera. Take the battery and memory card out and let the camera dry completely before use. Check out our post from last week about what to do when your camera gets wet for more tips on drying a wet camera. Also, we recommend this related post, about what kind of gear to bring when taking photos outdoors in low temperatures.

Be sure to read Ray’s complete article for additional tips.

What’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever shot in? Let us know in the comments.

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Taking Photos in Low Temperatures

January 31, 2008

“Snow 1”
© Copyright David Cresine

You can just about feel the crisp chill in the air after the fresh snowfall in David Cresine’s photo “Snow 1” above, taken along Big Bear Lake in California.

Whether you’re intending to take photos while skiing, snowboarding, or enjoying a long winter hike, it’s important to be prepared with the right equipment. The folks at fotohacker.com have compiled an excellent list of considerations which might not only result in the perfect shot, but will also certainly keep you warm and safe in the process:

  1. Clothing. Dress in layers. Make sure you have good boots, gloves, and a warm hat. You especially want to keep your head, feet, and hands warm to protect against frostbite and hypothermia.
  2. Food and Water. Bring carbs (trail mix, chocolate, fruit) and water to keep yourself hydrated.
  3. Gear. Be mindful of the environmental rating of your camera equipment. Protect your camera and extra batteries from the elements by keeping them inside your jacket when not in use. Put the camera in a plastic bag to prevent condensation on the camera lens.

We’d probably also add a cell phone and a GPS to this list, just in case.

Any other gear you’d consider essential for a winter shoot?

Be sure to read the article for details to make sure you’ve planned and prepared before heading out to the great outdoors.

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