How to take pictures in the cold?
Happy New Year, winter finally arrived, with snow and frost, and for many, the question arose about shooting in frosty weather, how to handle photo equipment. Not everything is as simple as it may seem. So, a few tips that helped me, for example, when shooting in fog and ambient temperature -27 at the top of Mashuk. And when climbing Mount Elbrus from the north, one battery lasted for me on the day of shooting, with which I took about 600 shots, saving about a third of the charge.
No need to warm the camera!
Avoid putting the camera under clothes, do not transfer it from cold to warm. This will inevitably result in the occurrence of condensation on all parts of the camera: when switching from cold to heat, the lens and the inside of the camera will be covered with drops of water, and there will be a risk of damage to the equipment. At a minimum, your lens will fog up and the quality of your pictures will deteriorate. And if after that you take the camera out in severe frost, frost and even ice may freeze on the details of the camera.
Climbing Elbrus from the North
Store the camera in a bag or case that hangs on your belt (stomach, back), but does not get warmed by your body.
You can keep a spare battery warm, which you insert in the carcass if the first one discharges.
When shooting in cold weather, try not to breathe on the camera: the exhaled air contains moisture, which will quickly freeze on the camera. Breathe in the scarf, behind the collar of the jacket, you can even hold your breath when you take a picture.
Summer on Elbrus
Do not turn off the camera.
When the camera is working, the internal space of the carcass is heated, and the influence of the cold is somewhat leveled.
Whenever possible, I try to hold the camera with my hand in a grip – since the battery usually hides in it, the heat of the hand raises its temperature a little. Of course, if a good glove is on the hand, then the heat transfer will be insignificant. But the hand will create additional “warming”, and the battery, heating up during operation, will provide itself with more comfortable conditions.
Ice patterns at -20
If the air humidity is low, and frost does not freeze on objects, you can do without a lens cap. Thanks to this, it will be easier for you to operate the equipment in the cold, and you will not lose the lid in the snow.
Never blow snowflakes off with your lips! You melt them with warm air, and there will be drops on the front lens that will freeze and spoil the entire shooting.
Winter on top of Mashuk
Carry a cleaning brush for the lens, you can always brush away dry snow from the lens.
Only wet filters can help with wet snow, which can often be wiped. To wipe the filter dry, you will have to carry two napkins with you – one large one made of natural material, such as cotton. It absorbs the main water, after which a thin film can be wiped off with a microfiber cloth. This should be done quickly enough so that the water does not have time to freeze again. If you didn’t succeed right away, and a thin film froze on the lens, you can tolerate a little, and in severe frost and wind the ice will sublimate and evaporate, leaving a clean glass. Rubbing frosted glass is absolutely impossible! Scratch it with ice particles.
Dawn on the Shadzhatmaz Plateau
As for controlling camera functions, this can be quite inconvenient, especially when wearing thick gloves and mittens. But there is no particular choice – either remove gloves every time and freeze your fingers, or get used to adjust the camera without removing the mittens. In just a few shoots you can learn this 🙂
If possible, do not touch the metal with gloves; it strongly removes heat. Take a tripod for special polyurethane grips, do not hold on to the metal parts of the camera for a long time.
Think through all the settings in advance.
If you need to get into the menu and correct something, do it still ahead of time, in the warmth. Then it will be much easier in the cold, because only the most necessary settings will remain, which can be done without going into the menu.
Choose the right lens. The fact is that not all lenses are able to work in the cold. In many of them (primarily in cheap cetaceans), the grease thickens so much that it does not allow the zoom ring to rotate, and sometimes it can even wedge the diaphragm. If you encounter a jammed zoom, do not try to crank it through force. Having set it once in a certain position, humble yourself and do not twist anymore. And better to install a lens that does not freeze in the cold. If your pictures suddenly turn out to be very overexposed (and you did not change the settings, and the lighting remains the same), then there is a possibility that the diaphragm began to stick. This happens if there is grease on its petals and it thickens. In this case, it is better to stop shooting with this lens, because the aperture is pretty delicate.
When bringing the camera to heat, do not remove it from the bag for two or three hours. Let it warm smoothly, otherwise it will become wet from condensation.