A recent trip to Alaska caused me to revisit some basic tips when shooting in pretty extreme weather conditions. The temperature varied from near freezing to the low 80s and provided quite a challenge when it came to preparation for the trip. A few things you should keep in mind:
1. Camera Preparation: Consider your settings beforehand (to the best of your ability) and before you step outside. You don’t need to be fussing with your camera when you get out in the cold. Also, try to get your camera out in the cold for a significant period of time before you shoot. Otherwise, going from a warm lodge or car directly to the cold weather will cause condensation to form on your lenses and camera – not a pleasant thing.
2. Clothing: Layers of course, the conditions can change quickly and you’ll need to be ready. Gloves are a critical piece of the puzzle. There are some winter gloves available that allow you to remove the fingers which permit you to manipulate the camera when outdoors. I personally prefer using thin glove liners. When you are looking for subject matter or waiting for the light you can wear the glove shells and slip them off when ready to get to work.
3. Coming Indoors: Consider an airtight plastic bag for your camera to avoid condensation and remove your memory card as soon as possible for the same reason.
Rich Smukler specializes in Landscape and Fine-Art Photography from his studio in South Florida. His works have been featured in numerous museums, galleries and private collections internationally. You can see more of his works at http://www.richsmuklerphoto.com. (Kick back and stay awhile).
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