Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Gadget Bag: Cold Weather Photo-Savers
Take advantage of the best of winter’s photo opportunities with gear that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable
Grabbing a cold aluminum or carbon-fiber tripod leg can be painful in very cold weather. Tripod leg warmers help you avoid this problem. Gitzo, LensCoat, Manfrotto and OP/TECH are just a few of the manufacturers that make them. Leg warmers also reduce wear and tear on the tripod legs from bushwhacking to that great shooting spot.
Batteries don't like cold, and even a freshly charged unit will fail to function if it's cold enough. Keep the camera inside your coat between shots and spare batteries in an interior pocket where your body heat can help keep them warm. It's a good idea to carry spare batteries when you head into the field, but especially so in cold weather. Grabber hand warmers will keep the feeling in your fingers, and they also make good battery warmers. Keep the hand warmer in your pocket with the battery.
Warming The Photographer
Cold is bad enough, but cold plus wet is potentially dangerous. Wear clothing that keeps you warm and dry. Dress in layers, starting with thermal underwear. As the day heats up, remove the outer layers to keep from overheating, then put them on again as the sun goes down. Nature photography often consists of fairly strenuous hikes followed by long periods of inactivity as you wait for the light and conditions to come together.
A lot of your warmth escapes through the head, so keep it covered with a hood or some kind of hat such as the snug-fitting Ascent Beanie from The North Face. A hooded parka, like those mentioned, is a good choice for your outer layer, which should be windproof for maximum comfort. A wool or fleece scarf will help keep your neck warm.
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