Tips for Cold Weather Photography
Unless you shoot only and exclusively along the earth’s equator, it’s likely you’ll need to learn how to shoot in cold weather. With or without snow, there are a few tricks to consider from keeping your fingers warm to your batteries firing.
Warm, dexterous fingers are the key to a successful cold shoot. They’re also the most challenging thing to regulate. There are lots of photography specific gloves to keep your fingers warm while shooting. However, some simple fingerless gloves (bonus points if they come with the tops to pull on and off) should do the trick.
Acclimatize Your Gear
Don’t jump from warm to freezing! Transitioning too quickly between temperatures causes internal and external condensation, which is bad for your gear. Be sure to acclimatize your camera and accessories by putting them in a bag outside for a while (20 to 30 minutes should do) before they face the bitter cold in full force. When you come inside after a day of cold weather shooting, put your camera in a Ziploc bag (or in a tightly zipped up camera bag) to make sure the warm air won’t hit your glass directly.
You should always bring spare batteries! Batteries discharge faster in cold weather, so keeping a spare set will spare you the annoyance of dead batteries in the middle of a snowstorm. Store these extra batteries near your body – think under your coat or in your pants pocket – to keep them warm with body heat. Make sure all batteries are fully charged (and double check).
Keep Your Tripod Warm
If you’re shooting with a tripod on a cold day, be sure to insulate it. Cold tripod translates to cold hands and generally uncomfortable shooting. Wrap your tripod in insulation (or honestly, a scarf will do fine).
In the end, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t shoot! Remember to protect your gear, whether it’s with insulation around your tripod or acclimatizing a DSLR and lenses in a camera bag on the stoop. Keep an extra set of batteries warm in your pocket, some fingerless gloves on your hands, and you’re ready to go.