Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shooting in the Cold

This winter, unlike the past few, has been very cold and because of that I would bet that the majority of you have not ventured out with your cameras. Understandable, it is hard to get up early knowing that the arctic wind can find every seam in your clothing to crawl through. Not to mention that the cold is hard on your equipment, but that should not hold you back from photographing the beauty of winter. You just need to prepare well with warm cloths and a zip lock bag.

Before you go out for your next session you must pick up some one or two gallon zips lock bags and put a couple in your bag. I like zip lock because they are much easier in the cold to open and close than the regular bag. The reason you need these bags is to save off condensation when you go back in the house.
As hard is the cold on your camera, so is condensation. Your camera is cold and will help draw the moisture out of the air much like a glass of ice water does on a hot summer’s day. That moisture finds its way into the electronics and sensor of your camera wreaking havoc and eventually turning it into a brick. Preventing this is simple.

Fist; once you are finished photographing power down the camera, take the battery out then open the bag and slide it in.

Second; before closing it squeeze all the air out of the bag. This way if there is any humidity in the outside air it will be purged from the bag.

Third; it is ready to bring into the house, but don’t open it yet. You must wait until the camera has warmed up to the touch. Then inspect to make sure there is no sign of condensation. If it is all clear then it is ready to use.

This technique works well for the summer. Late last summer there was a vigorous lighting display that I wished to capture. Because the air in my house was cool and the humidity outside was so high, condensation formed on my camera. Had I been in possession of a large zip lock bag I could have sealed it up, taken it outside and let the camera warm up to the outside temperature without condensation.

So don’t let winter’s cold keep you from your photography. With a little planning you can still have a great time getting shots of the winter that seems to never stop. Shoot well and Shoot often.