A Guide to Cold Weather Photography
|Cool tones give an image a dreary feel|
Cameras and Cold Weather
Battery life is one component that tends to get overlooked the most but in the cold battery life can be cut in half or less. Take 2-3 batteries with your and keep your charged spares close to your body. Find a good lens cover to keep moisture out. I keep a couple of silica gel desiccants in my Pelican case to help with moisture. Also, and this might be one of the most annoying issues to arise is a lens fogging up from dramatic temp changes. Always allow your lens to acclimate to the ambient temps that you will be shooting in. I can tell you from experience that there is nothing worse than trying to take pictures of a herd of Elk and having my lens fog up on the outside and even within the camera. I generally try to keep a rain cover on my camera of some type just to be safe as well.
|Bundled up in warm tones|
Controlling the Exposure
Exposure compensation and white balance is crucial when photographing in the winter, sure you can adjust some of that in post processing but the real goal should always be to get as close to perfection as possible in the camera. Just as I under expose by 1 stop for white birds in sunlight, I try to do the same if possible in snow. It is to easy to loose detail and blow out the shot if your not on top of your exposure with every shot. Set a custom white balance as well. You can set a mood with white balance by adding warm or cool tones carefully.
People and Cold Weather
Snowshoes? Maybe, having walked in snow shoes I can tell you it is no easy feat but they will allow you to get into tougher areas and do so quieter than a pair of boots will. With it turning off cold over most of the country be sure to have the proper clothing for the areas you plan to be in and never assume that you have enough to "get you through" when you know that you may need more. In the outdoors 2 is 1 and 1 is none... Never push yourself to exhaustion in extreme weather. Know your limits and know when to say when.
Even with the dangers involved in braving the elements to get the shot, many times the moments experienced during the harsh conditions will net the best images and the most memorable adventures. I want to encourage you to get out and find the things that make the seasons. Bundle up, be safe, and enjoy!!!