Protecting Your Gear In Winter
We all know that winter images can be stunningly beautiful and that the winter weather can be stunningly harsh. When you are photographing in winter weather, you need to take precautions to keep your gear safe and functional!
Camera Batteries in Winter
The number one problem that you will have is keeping your batteries fully charged. Batteries discharge twice as fast at 0 degrees as they do at 50 degrees.
- Your Battery Meter will NOT Be accurate. Fully charge every evening.
- Keep your spare batteries in an inner pocket closest to the outside. The area closest to your body can be humid, and they would be hard to reach quickly.
- Warming up an apparently dead battery will return some life.
Be Careful About Your Breathing
I am not going to say don’t breathe, but rather be careful where you breathe. I am going to guess more than half of you hold your breath while shooting and then make a big exhale. Your exhale can and will freeze on the LCD and worse the viewfinder!
Moisture and electronics are not a good mixture, and with extreme temps, you need to be careful of condensation. Bringing your cold camera into a warm hotel room will cause condensation, so you need to zip it up.
- While outside, remove the battery and memory cards
- Place your camera in a Ziploc bag with the body cap on
- Place your lens in a Ziploc with the lens caps on
- Put your gear in the coldest part of the room, e.g., a window sill
- Let them warm up for about 45 minutes
If your camera backpack is relatively dry, you can zip your gear up in your bag and let it warm for at least an hour before opening.
You’ve all seen this little bags that come with most every kind of electronics box and most don’t know why. They absorb moisture and are quite useful to have around.
- Put them in the condensation Ziplocs
- Put them in your camera bags
- Put then in your shoes or boots at night
Summary of Cold Weather Photography
It all boils down to managing your batteries and avoiding condensation from your breath or from rapidly warming up your camera.
I hope you get out in the weather and make some great images in your winter wonderland. Snow can be a magical element and if you are prepared you’ll be just fine!
Did I leave out you favorite snowy weather tip? Leave me a comment, and I’ll add it to the list.