How to take better photos in cold weather (and how to deal with battery issues!).


The colder it is – the happier I am (seriously).  That’s mostly because I am comfortable and warm regardless of what the temperature is.  I never wear cotton socks (I always wear wool – cotton is the devil and will keep you cold) – and I am always wearing a merino wool cami underneath my shirts. These camis make a HUGE difference because they wick away moisture that causes you to feel cold (I actually even wear them to feel cooler in the summer months). They are expensive, but they will change your life!  No more being cold constantly!

I also make sure my neck is covered up in cold weather so I don’t start to feel chilled.  Once I know I am warm, I can focus (pun intended) on shooting my favorite subjects outside in really cold weather.

I am headed to my first ice fishing trip this weekend (after I do a guest lecture on Social Media and Social Change at Northland College on Thursday – multitasking as usual this week 😉 ) – so I thought I would share some of my favorite cold weather tips!

I did this video a few weeks ago on my Facebook page.  It has some quick tips for keeping your camera happy in frigid weather.


Here are some highlights from the video:

1) My most important tip – keep your camera a consistent temp. Do not move the camera inside and outside.

This is important for a variety of reasons – the biggest one being condensation. When you shoot outside and then bring the camera inside, moisture builds up in the camera, causing the lens to fog up. Even if you wait to bring the camera back outside until it looks like the fog is gone, there could still be condensation inside. If you bring it outside into freezing temperatures- the shutter or other parts could freeze and cause permanent damage to your camera.
I will seriously keep my camera outside in subzero temps for 10 hours if I am doing a winter specific shoot. My Canon MK3 will usually only go through 1 battery.  All cameras vary, however.

2) Keep hand warmers handy at all times – and keep an extra battery wrapped in one in an inside pocket.

When your in-camera battery starts to lose power, simply switch to the new warmer battery, and wrap the old one in the handwarmer. The old battery will warm up and power will return to it (sometimes a very surprising amount).

3) Not mentioned: wear gloves or mittens with tops that open.

This may seem like an obvious one, but metal on your fingers for an extended period actually quickens frost bite.  Wear something on your fingers at all times (only remove if you have to) – and move your arms in big circles if you feel your fingers start to hurt.  This helps get the blood moving!  You might look like an idiot doing it, but that’s better than losing a finger ;).

Enjoy winter – the colder it is, the more beautiful the light!  🙂



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