Cold Weather Essentials for Photographers

You might think that shooting in cold weather is easy or the same as shooting in tropical weather but, in practice, there’s a lot to take into account. Batteries drain faster, lenses begin to fog, your hands might shake and snow may fall. Here is some essential cold weather gear to ensure that your winter inspired photos turn out just the way you like.

1. Rain Cover

Rain covers are cheap, reliable and extremely useful. Whether it’s raining or snowing you can be sure your camera will be safe from any water damage. The last thing you want is for your shoot and camera to be ruined because rain or snow got into the wrong places of your gear. You can find some here on amazon relatively cheap.

2. Gloves

Shooting in cold weather can be very harsh on your hands. They’ll first feel cold, then they might feel a little numb and red and little movements like texting or changing your camera settings become difficult, which is why it is highly recommended to use gloves, especially in below freezing weather. Any random glove won’t do the trick either. You want your hands to be warm without restricting the ease of pressing buttons and moving dials on your camera. You can find thermal, photography gloves online that come with slits for your thumb and index finger in order to not lose any function.

3. Polarizer

On a bright sunny day out shooting you do not want to be caught without a polarizer, especially in the snow. A polarizing filter will darken your blue skies, whiten your clouds and most importantly reduce any glare or reflections bouncing off of the snow, ice or a frozen lake. Polarizers come at a variety of different prices. Depending on your purpose and budget you might prefer to get a polarizer like the Tiffen 52mm or go high end with a drop in polarizing filter

4. Extra Batteries

As mentioned cold weather can drain your batteries. Just like cell phones, camera batteries have an optimal range of temperature where they operate best and below freezing is not in that range. This is why it’s best to always have at least one spare battery with you. Just remember to keep those batteries in a warm area so that they don’t also drain. Here are some Canon and Nikon batteries to add some extra juice.

5. Flash

This might seem unusual, needing flash in snowy weather, however, if you’ve ever been out while it is snowing you may have noticed that photographing the moment with the snow falling can be quite a challenge. Depending on the time of day and how thin the snow is, it might be almost impossible. Adding a flash to your camera and using it properly will bounce the light off of the snow and create wonderful bokeh images and add a new look to your photos. If your camera doesn’t come with a flash or if you simply don’t like the flash your camera comes with, check this one out!

6. Waterproof Backpack

You may have protected your camera with a rain cover, but what about the rest of your gear? A small camera backpack that offers some type of water resistance can be a necessity if it is raining or snowing. Even if it has finished raining, if you decide to put your backpack down it is better if it is protected from the wet ground.

7. Hot Chocolate

What better way to finish a cold shoot than by warming up with some hot chocolate, sitting down with some friends and looking at your photos.

Tell us about your experiences shooting in the cold. What do you recommend? Comment below!

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