Shooting in Cold Weather
Some of the best photography comes at times and places nobody else would shoot, and winter provides many of those opportunities. But before you go trudging around in that cold snow for the perfect picture, let's talk about how you should prepare for the best shots!
Visualize your shots, settings and technique ahead of time and practice if necessary. Hand-numbing cold isn't the environment in which you want to be trying to figure out your photography.
Plan your path through the snow if you want that pristine snowfall picture. Otherwise, you'll be getting your footprints in the shot, unless that's what you want.
Regular winter gloves keep you warm, but they make operating controls difficult. Instead, use gloves made for photographers, which have index finger and thumb tips that open up so you can use buttons and dials with ease. The Promaster Knit Photo Gloves afford you the most dexterity, while the 4-Layer Photo Gloves offer the most wind and water resistance.
In extreme below-zero temperatures, some batteries have been known to last only a handful of shots. Keep your batteries out of your camera and warm for as long as possible, in an interior pocket next to your body, until you need them.
Bring at least twice as many batteries as you'd normally need. You could even throw a disposable hand warmer in with them. Some photographers rubber-band hand warmers around the exterior of their cameras' battery compartments.
Higher end cameras like the Canon 90D or EOS R series, Nikon D750/D850 or Z series, or Sony A7 series are weather sealed and built to be used in extreme environments, so there's no need to cover them unless you're in heavy snow or steady rain.
If there's potential for snow or rain, bring some rain sleeves. Rain sleeves are inexpensive plastic covers for your camera and lens. Our staff finds the OpTech sleeves reliable and reusable for an affordable price.
For extra protection, gaff-tape the lens end of the rain sleeve around your lens hood (use gaffer tape only, never duct tape or electrical tape).
When you head back to the cozy indoors, keep your gear in its bag to avoid rapid condensation when going from a cold to warm and humid environment!