In most parts of the USA it’s winter. It’s cold. It’s freezing!
Here are some cold-weather shooting tips to keep your pictures good and your gear safe.
1. Get out there. Weather is the photographer’s friend. Don’t let the cold or snow or ice or whatever stop you. It can add beauty and visual elements to your photography that make the difference between good and great photos.
2. Bring extra batteries and keep them close to your skin. Cold weather zaps batteries. If you have at least one extra battery, you can really increase your shooting time by swapping batteries from time-to-time, taking one from the camera and putting it inside your shirt, etc., to keep it warm. Even a battery that says it’s dead or nearly dead can come back to life if you warm it up.
3. Minimize changing lenses in winter weather. You don’t want to get moisture or condensation inside your camera or your lens. You really don’t. Also be careful when bringing your camera indoors to a warm house from a cold outside. Put your camera/lenses in plastic bags that you can seal before you bring them in. That way the condensation forms on the bag not the gear.
4. Bring rain covers for your camera and lenses. Even if it’s not raining, snow is wet. If you’re out in a snowing environment, snow can fall on your camera and get it wet. This is less important with some of the top-of-the-line pro bodies, but something to consider in any event.
5. Dress in layers. Wear warm boots, socks and under garments. Wear fingerless gloves, a hat that covers your ears and a good, thick coat. Under the coat wear a shirt, and a sweater. If it warms up you can take off a layer. Also bring hand warmers and foot warmers in extreme weather. Wool works better than cotton.
6. Watch where you step. Black ice can bring you down quickly. A slip and fall can not only damage your camera but your head. Also watch out for frozen lakes and rivers. Don’t try to cross them unless you are sure the ice is several feet thick.
7. Use a camera strap. When your hands are cold they have less dexterity and grip. It’s easier for the camera to slip out of your hands when they are cold or wet. Don’t chance dropping your camera.