Winter Photography Tips
The weather outside is frightful for photography it is quite delightful.
Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!!
Winter photography can be challenging but it is worth the effort. Here are some tips to improve your winter photography.
Don’t Exposure Camera equipment to Extreme Temperature Changes. Condensation is a major problem for camera equipment. Electronics and moisture don’t mix well. The good news is that the moisture will eventually evaporate if the equipment is allowed to warm up to room temperature, but it can take a long time.
I keep my camera in its bag before going indoors or outside. The bag insulates the gear a little from extreme temperature changes. When I return home I just leave my gear in the camera bag and make sure I don’t open the bag for at least one hour.
I also keep my car cold. It minimizes condensation. It also seems like less of a shock from going out of the warm vehicle to the cold. If you take off you gloves and coat, crank the heat, you will find it tempting not to even get out of the car and take a picture.
Keep batteries warm. Your camera will work fine in very cold temperatures as long as it has functioning batteries. Batteries drain quicker with cold weather. When I do a winter shoot I often bring several sets of batteries which are charged daily. Certain types of batteries perform better than others in the cold. I keep extra batteries in a pocket inside my jacket where I can keep them warm. Sometimes I put a chemical hand warmer in that pocket also. I often rotate the batteries between my camera and my warm pocket.
Tripods: Avoid touching a cold tripod with you bare hands. Some people use tripod leg warmers to help with this problem. Several manufactures make tripod leg warmers. You can also use plumber’s pipe insulation for the tripod legs. For less than five bucks you can make your own tripod leg covers from foam pipe insulation and hockey tape (the best tape to use ’cause it can handle the cold). Be careful not to force your tripod into the snow. You can damage you tripod.
A Lens hood can help to prevent problems with snow on the front element of a lens from falling or blowing snow.
Hand Warmers are easy to use, they start warming the instant you open the package. You can keep some in your boots, gloves, and coast pockets. I keep one stuffed in each glove or mitten, and this way my gloves are always warm when I put them back on.
Exposure: don’t blow out the whites. The camera will want to make the snow a neutral gray color which is a problem. Learn to read the histogram and you will find exposing the snow properly is very easy.
Get out early. Winter landscape photography looks best with fresh snow on the branches. It is best to be out there before it melts or gets blown off the branches.
Take extra precautions. Let other know of you travel plans in event of an emergency. Bring emergency supplies with you on your adventures.
You can add interest and color to snow shots simply by including a colorful object or two in your composition.
Fly to Florida. If you need a break from the cold you can’t beat Florida. It is warm and incredibly beautiful. The wildlife photography is incredible. Winter is the dry season in Florida. Since there is less water the wildlife concentrates into smaller areas which make it a wildlife photographer’s paradise.
Some of my favorite photo opportunities are during winter. Don’t let the cold keep you inside. Get out and enjoy.