How to Take Great Photos in the Snow – Pt.1: Gear
Winter is a beautiful time of year and offers many opportunities for pros and amateurs alike to hone their photography skills and take great photos. Whether you have a simple point-and-shoot camera, or an advanced piece of kit, there is bound to be something here to kick your pics up a notch on the ‘wow’ scale.
Photo by Tit Bonac
Dress appropriately for the occasion
Though it’s tempting, don’t over-dress. It may sound silly, but anybody who has spent any time outside in cold weather will tell you the same. It’s better to feel a slight chill while you stand still rather than overheat while you walk, giving the cold temperatures the opportunity to chill your sweat and then lower your body temperature, potentially leading to early-onset hypothermia.
Do take gloves though. If you hate the bulkiness of gloves, one option is to wear a thin pair (perhaps with rubber gripping on the fingers) for use when you take photos, and take a pair of mittens along for downtime spells. Another option is using a pair of shooter’s gloves or mittens that allow you to pull a finger out for use on a shutter release. Oh and sunglasses might be a good idea too…Just to keep your eyes from frying because of the sun reflecting off the snow.
Keep your camera cold
Keep your camera in the fridge like a bottle of cheap vodka? Not exactly. Have you ever noticed how your glasses instantly fog up when you come into warmth after being out in the cold? The same can happen to your camera, fogging up the mirror, which causes harmful condensation inside the lens, and maybe even shorts out electronic components (provided you’re part of the 21st century and use a digital camera).
Do not put your camera under your coat in the hope of warming it up or of keeping your batteries from draining too quickly (more on which below). The warmth of your body heat and the moisture from your sweat can potentially be harmful. Also, there’s nothing worse than whipping out your camera for that one-in-a-million shot, only to have it fog up as soon as you re-expose it to the cold.
Keep your batteries warm
All batteries drain faster in colder temperatures, so it’s wise to carry an extra set and maybe keep them in your pocket or inside your coat, closer to your body heat, until you need them. Newer lithium ion batteries have fewer problems with this, but it’s still good advice.
Keep your gear easily accessible
No-one wants to be fumbling around in a bag for their gear when they need it or drop equipment in the snow. Also, you don’t want to be setting your bag down in the snow and risk any kind of water seeping in. So, whether you’re using a backpack, pockets, or an actual camera bag, do make sure you can reach your gear with little effort.
Aaand this is all you need to bear in mind to keep yourself, and your gear shipshape to take great photos. Coming up next: tech tips to teach you all you need in a nutshell on your photographic forays on your Baltic Run.