Monday, December 08, 2008

Thoughts on Inclement Weather

After shooting yesterday in a snowstorm, a few points occurred to me.

1) wide angle lenses will show closer snow with less blurring
2) distance from subject will determine the amount of snow between you and the subject - use accordingly to control the atmospheric effect you want - keeping # 1 above in mind.
3) lens hoods are essential. Do remember, if you use a lens which covers a full size sensor on a small sensor camera that the lens hood is not restrictive or long enough. You may want to use one for a longer lens or extend it, especially on top to keep snow and rain out.
4) nothing is more frustrating than getting rain or snow on the viewfinder, and it's darn hard to reach in there and wipe off. Carrying a cloth dedicated to cleaning the viewfinder and LCD can be handy.
5) a hat with a goodly brim can avoid some of the precipitational issues.
6) wet fingers get cold really fast and even around freezing can get darn cold.
7) most cameras will handle a modest sprinkling of rain or snow especially for short periods of time but if you plan to spend two hours photographing in the rain, you want to think of protective coverings.
8) misery loves company - take someone else out shooting with you - it's harder to back out.


chuck kimmerle said...

When shooting in a snowfall, one of the most important tips is to NOT pull a warm camera from the bag and start shooting. When it's snowing, gear that is warm equals gear that is wet. Give the camera and lenses time to chill to the outside air temperature. If it's below freezing, snow will bounce harmlessly off your gear rather than stick and melt.

As this can adversely affect batteries, be sure to keep spares someplace warm and cozy.

George Barr said...

The only downside I have found to a cold camera is the viewfinder easily fogs up when held next to me - of course if you don't breathe, it goes better. This may only be an issue for glasses wearers in which there is a gap for warm breath to reach the finder.


Jason Anderson said...

I also use a ziploc bag for the camera when returning to warmer temperatures (i.e. home) to prevent condensation build up. It also helps to stage the transition if possible:

Camera gear outside
Camera gear in trunk
Camera gear in garage
Camera gear in house

Pixel Pete said...

Most annoying thing about working outdoors in the elements is when feet get wet or fingers get cold.

Can't feel the clicks with gloves.

My take on taking pictures in inclement weather