Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Woes of Cold Weather Photography

It's hard enough that you have to move your expensive delicate equipment around with big stubs called mitts, but taking photographs in sub zero temperatures is no joke. Last night I saw some ridiculous Northern Lights but I ran into a few problems that next time I want to be prepared for. One major issue in cold weather is your battery bitting the biscuit before it's time. I bought an extra battery (Henry's just had a GST free sale)... but I left it behind in the house, so I didn't have a replacement when my first battery kicked it. A small tip is to take your battery out and give it some lovin' in your mitten for a few minutes. You can generally convince it to take a few more shots before it finally goes.

The next problem I have is that my eye lashes have the worst problem of sticking together. When I go to shoot I always close my left eye and what do you know, I couldn't get it back open. I had permanent stink eye until I defrosted it with my hand. So blinking is out, I guess I could use goggles, but then it's hard to look through the lens. My friend who was also shooting didn't seem to have this problem, so maybe I just have overly active tear ducts. I like to call it being in touch with my feelings.

The other major problem is what to do with my hands. I have wrinkly old lady hands that have been burnt too many times from the cold. I have purchased a thin glove that is made by Under Armor and I use them underneath a larger mitten. The trick is to pull your hand out, press all the buttons you can and stuff it back in the other mitt before the burning starts. Clare has suggested using a silk glove as protection, but I haven't seen any. If anyone knows where to buy some, link it up in the comments section. The under armor definately cuts down the pain, but I am constantly looking for a better solution to save my hands.

Those are the biggest issues, I will leave out complaints of waddling like a penguin and mobility in your space suit, but there are plenty of other problems that coincide with arctic photography.


Kennie said...

And we can never forget the delicate process of defrosting our camera once we get it inside too to avoid the dreaded "dried frost-water" marks inside our ever so precious lenses.

And I think I might have found your silk gloves

Nancy said...

I wear thin-ish leather gloves (they have a thin lining too, they're the the slim "lady" style leather gloves) under my mitts- they keep the wind out better, the fingers last a bit longer before they go stiff and you have to shove them back in the mitts. I get mine at discount departments stores like Giant Tiger, they last quite a while and are pretty good quality.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a little vasaline on your upper and lower eye lashes before you go out? For sure the vasaline slathered on your hands, then hands in plastic bags, with elastics, when you go to bed. Nath may not be turned on by the bags,but the smooth hands later watch out. Mom eich

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Last night I got up to give Hunter a bottle and looked outside--- well the northern lights were amazing here as well! Not only were there greens, but purples and pinks too! Beautiful! And to seem them with the mountains and trees as background... man I happy I moved here!

Rob, Tina and the boys said...

Frosted frozen glasses. My worst enemy when taking pics at night. I need to get laser eye surgery.

Clare said...

I have an alternative to the silk gloves if you can't find them (I can't find mine). MEC Windstopper gloves, although not quite as touch friendly as silk, are thin, work well as an inner layer, and you can manipulate the controls just fine, without leaving skin behind on the camera.