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Old Aug 31, 2006, 11:09 PM   #1
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Hey all, I know that winters still a ways off, but in my area the temperature is already starting to slowly fall. So anyways, what are the do's and don'ts of winter photography? How cold can it be? I live in Canada so it is frequently below zero after a good snow fall, we also often get -30 degree celcius weather. (Like -22 farenheit).

So how do I get good shots in the snow? Do I have to wait until the temperature goes back up above zero and then run out before stuff melts?
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 1:31 AM   #2
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Check your camera manual to get the temperature range for "normal" operation. You may well be able to shoot in lower temperatures than this, but the camera might function erratically in certain ways.

Battery life will be affected depending on what type of battery you use and how cold it is. Check this out for your battery type and count on a shorter shooting session or taking more extras than you would in warmer weather. Keep the extras in an inner pocket so that the cold won't affect them before you want to use them.

Be prepared for exposure problems. All that white snow can easily lead to underexposing a more mid-toned subject.

Try to set up your camera (modes, specific settings involving the menu, etc.) for the shooting conditions you plan to encounter before you get out into the weather. Trying to play with tiny buttons and dials with insulated gloves is frustrating.

Bring a thermos of hot coffee.

When you come back in, have the camera in something like a ziplock bag so that it can warm up to room temperature without the condensation that can occur if you expose it to the open air.

Grant


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Old Sep 1, 2006, 1:11 PM   #3
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I had the same question in my mind. Im in Alberta as well and using a recently purchased dSLR. The manual says not to use it below 0 degrees celsius. Thats not really viable as I wouldnt be able to take any outdoor pictures all winter up here.

Any tips on how to keep the camera from getting harmed by the cold weather? My biggest worry would be the LCD screens freezing and condensation forming in the camera body and lenses.



Any tips?
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 1:22 PM   #4
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I'm thinking I can probably get some good shots at above 0. Not while it's snowing but I think after a heavy snowfall, it usually sticks around for a bit before it melts. Sometimes it even takes a day for the snow to start melting enough to make a difference in how it looks.

Eastwest, you probably know what I'm talking about. It's that crazy time that shows up once in awhile when you can walk around in the snow without a coat, haha.
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 2:41 PM   #5
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Morag2 wrote:
Quote:
Hey all, I know that winters still a ways off, but in my area the temperature is already starting to slowly fall. So anyways, what are the do's and don'ts of winter photography? How cold can it be? I live in Canada so it is frequently below zero after a good snow fall, we also often get -30 degree celcius weather. (Like -22 farenheit).

So how do I get good shots in the snow? Do I have to wait until the temperature goes back up above zero and then run out before stuff melts?
Please.... you're making me shiver :-)
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 2:54 PM   #6
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Morag2 wrote:
Quote:
Hey all, I know that winters still a ways off, but in my area the temperature is already starting to slowly fall. So anyways, what are the do's and don'ts of winter photography? How cold can it be? I live in Canada so it is frequently below zero after a good snow fall, we also often get -30 degree celcius weather. (Like -22 farenheit).

So how do I get good shots in the snow? Do I have to wait until the temperature goes back up above zero and then run out before stuff melts?
A friend of mine's Nikon SLR once got damaged because his shutter or mirror had frozen prior to taking a shot. The drive mechanism had enough strength to break something inside the camera rather than break free the shutter or mirror. This happened because of proglonged storage in the cold prior to using it. Cameras can probably certain amounts of cold for small amounts of time but prolonged exposure is certainly not good. On a DSLR, and even on film cameras that use any kind of LCD, you run the added risk of the liquid inside the display freezing up and destroying the LCD.Even simply bringing a camera from extreme to cold warm can excessive condensation, which is not good for the camera, at least not long term.

I have seen advertised camera bags that allow you to take pictures with the camera wrapped up. Something like that might help keep the camera a little warmer for a longer period of time. There may also be professional items available that a professional photographer is aware of. Try asking one, even if it means looking in the yellow pages. Trycalling a professional cameras shop also. There might be some inventive homemade solutions also. I just can't think of any good ones.



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Old Sep 1, 2006, 4:11 PM   #7
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This topic is of great interest has been covered seasonally in other threads. (can use search button above)
As it seems every camera maker seems to state their operating temprature is 0-something.

Here are a couple of the links:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...ld+camera+lepp
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...ght=cold+camer

The damage described would have happened if the person did the ultimate no-no of cold weather photography.
Taken a cold camera into the warm indoors(BAD), then back out into the cold again(REAL BAD).
A cold camera brought indoors improperly will quickly build up internal condensation which will rapidly freeze up and do damage if the camera is taken into the cold again.
The condensation itself can potentially do damage to the camera.

To bring a camera/lens/flash into the warm seal it in a plastic bag and don't open till it is up to tempreature. The condensation will form on the outside of the baggie.

I've used my nikon P&S and Canon DSLR's in the Canadian winter using the method mentioned by George Lepp in the above links with no problems.

The batteries do die fast, at -20c I got about 15minutes on a Canon 511-a.
So I keep one in a inside pocket and swap it for the cold one as needed, the cold one recovers a charge as it warms up again.


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Old Sep 1, 2006, 9:59 PM   #8
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The above is all good advice. I would add that I keep silica gel dessicant in my sealed Zip-loc bag as added insurance. External batteries are a good idea also. Keep the battery inside your parka and just run the cord out to the camera.

brian
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 2:14 PM   #9
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bring a tripod, warm gloves or heaters.

do not use flash during snow fall as it will reflect off the snow flakes(unless
thats what you want).
Dont use below ISO200, dont get your hands wet.

check out my snow pics.
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/f...emberID=105097



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Old Sep 2, 2006, 5:29 PM   #10
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Yep,
I'll add if use a metal tripod cover the upper legs in foam pipe wrap, keeps you hands from freezing to it.

And those chemical heating packs do work well to warm up hands & feet.
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