I’ve been gearing up and preparing for our upcoming winter and Yosemite Valley and Iceland winter landscape photography expeditions. The following tips will help you avoid some unpleasant surprises next time you venture into the cold and wet. If you’d like to learn more about preparing for our Iceland workshop, check out this blog.
Camera Body: It’s always good to pack a few plastic sandwich bags of various sizes in your kit. If you can also find a few of those clear disposable shower caps you find in hotel rooms, they work great also. You can use them for covering your camera’s body as sits on your tripod in the wet, as you wait for that magic moment. I also like to pack a small multi-folding pocket size umbrella. They really come in handy when the weather closes in are simple to store in your camera bags outside pocket.
Another thing that you can do, that provides a little insurance against camera damage is to place your camera in a larger trash bag before heading in from colder than average temps. This prevents condensation from forming on the body of your camera. The condensation will gather on the bag instead. Once the room temperature warms, you can remove your camera from the bag not risking damage to the delicate electronics in your camera’s body
Batteries: As the temperatures drop, so does the life of your batteries. Granted, with the new lithium-ion batteries, the lifespan has been extended greatly. But their ability to discharge will be diminished in the cold. I suggest, when the temperatures drop to place a backup battery or 2 under your layers to keep warm and ready to go. Warmer camera batteries discharge more efficiently than cold ones.
Tripods: Tripod legs conduct cold well, unfortunately. They can freeze up your hands quickly when the temperatures drop. I always wrap the legs of my tripods with inexpensive plumbers insulation foam. You can pick this up at any hardware store. It comes in round long sections and can be simply adapted to fit most upper sections of any tripod. You can wrap the foam with black or camouflaged cloth tape. This keeps the cold off your hands and makes for a more comfortable experience when handing your tripod when the temps drop.
All the Best, Mark Jansen