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5 Essentials for a Winter Photography Shoot

December 21, 2013 IADT General, Photography 0 Comments

5 Essentials for a Winter Photography ShootPhotojournalists, documentary photographers and portrait artists brave the elements daily. Winter photography presents some unique challenges when the mercury dips below freezing or snowflakes collect on your lens hood. Are you ready? Here are some tips for surviving the winter photography blues.

Acclimate the Camera

If you wear glasses, you know how lenses can fog in the winter. When you move from a warm, heated location to the chilly outdoors, the same type of condensation may form on your camera lenses and internal elements, leaving your first several frames blurry.

To acclimate your camera to cold weather, seal it in a plastic bag within your camera bag, then head outside. Give the camera at least 10 minutes to slowly cool down. The moisture will collect on the inside of the plastic bag, not on the camera. Remove the camera from the bag and get to work.

Reduce Battery Discharge

Cold weather zaps battery power. It's not uncommon for rechargeable batteries to expire twice as quickly when trading warm summer projects for winter photography assignments.

Remove the batteries from your camera bag and store them close to your body in an easily accessible pocket. Wearing a photo vest under your winter coat works well. If you work outside in cold weather often, consider purchasing a rechargeable battery pack, which lasts longer than individual batteries.

Use Rain Gear

You already know electronics and moisture don't mix. But, should you worry about a few majestic snowflakes that float past your lens? Yes. Those signs of winter quickly add up, melt and seep into the tiny crevices in your camera. Although cameras are equipped with weather-resistant seals, they may be damaged or brittle from age.

Don't gamble with the weather; invest in rain gear for your camera. The plastic sheaths have openings to make it easy to operate your camera gear without it getting wet. In a pinch, a plastic trash bag can protect your gear in unexpected wet weather.

Pack a Pencil

Freezing winter weather affects everything in your camera bag. Having half a dozen pens tucked away for writing notes and cutline information means nothing if the ink is frozen. Don't get stuck without being able to collect information. Pack a few mechanical pencils (you don't want broken tips) in your camera bag. A notepad app on your cellphone can also help you in a pinch.

Dress for Success

Finally, keep yourself warm. This can be a tough task when you need to make small movements with your fingers to adjust focus or change the aperture on your camera. Invest in fingerless gloves and tuck hand-warming pads inside. If it's too cold to have any skin exposed, wear a pair of grip-tip gloves designed for smartphone use. The fingertips covered in small rubber nubs make it simple to feel the camera controls and make adjustments.

Are you a winter photography superstar? Share your ideas for making it through snowy, cold, uncomfortable outdoor shoots with our readers.

Photo source: MorgueFile.

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