Home How-To Tip Of The Week Ten Tips For Photographing Winter Weather—12/12/11
  • I'd also like to receive the DP eNewsletter
Monday, December 12, 2011

Ten Tips For Photographing Winter Weather—12/12/11

How to photograph snow & ice, and keep it from ruining your camera

This Article Features Photo Zoom

5. Never underestimate the effect of people—even if you're not photographing them directly. Pure snow is definitely beautiful, but don't hesitate to use the tracks of man (or beast) to create interesting graphic elements in your compositions. The depth and texture to footprints makes them an ideal graphic element in snow, because they hold shadow and texture and offer some context in what can be an otherwise empty or disorienting composition.

6. Keep the batteries warm. Camera batteries, flash batteries, backup batteries… Extreme cold depletes batteries quickly. So keep them close to your body when not in use, along with a spare battery in your pants pocket rather than in your camera bag. If your flash starts recharging slowly or your camera is behaving sluggishly, swap the batteries for a new warm set, and keep rotating them as necessary to keep the batteries warm and keep working.

7. Wait until it stops snowing—or at least until it stops raining, sleeting or icing—before you head out to shoot. Not only will it protect your camera, the air will be clearer as it dries and allow you to see a little farther for landscape shots. Of course, if you're able to work in a covered area or with a well protected camera, the moving flakes falling from the sky can make for some pretty amazing images on their own.

8. Don't let your camera change temperatures too drastically too quickly. Let it slowly warm when returning indoors to prevent fogging and the possibility of moisture getting inside. While still outdoors in the cold, place the camera (and any other gear you'd like to protect) inside an airtight plastic bag. This way when condensation forms due to the warm indoor air, it will form on the exterior of the bag rather than on your camera and lens.

9. Cover your camera with a custom rain cover, like those from Kata and OpTech, and be sure to bring along extra protection in the form of trash bags (for overall emergency protection), shower caps (which accomplish the same sort of thing) or resealable kitchen bags to stow each individual camera accessory inside when not in use. If it's the winter travel that's got you worried more than the shooting, consider purchasing a dry bag to stow your camera along with your clothes to ensure they remain dry and protected.

10. Hopefully these steps will keep your camera safe and dry and functional, but if for some reason your gear does get wet you can try a few techniques to quickly dry it out. The hairdryer on low setting can help quickly dry sensitive electronics, while placing wet devices in a bowl of rice (uncooked, of course) has the natural ability to suck moisture out of the innards of your cameras, flashes and cell phones, too.


Add Comment


  • International residents, click here.
Check out our other sites:
Digital Photo Pro Outdoor Photographer HDVideoPro Golf Tips Plane & Pilot