Shooting in the Winter

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cloud9, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    I have been waiting and waiting for the snow to fall, (I know I'm crazy or maybe I just love s.a.d.), in order to do some winter photography outdoors. But I just got into photography this spring and I am wondering if there is anything I should think about in terms of keeping my gear (20d) safe. Can it handle the elements ect? Or if people have suggestions on winter techniques and want to post a couple of samples for inspiration that would be really cool too.

  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If you shoot at high ISO, say ISO 1600, in colder weather, you'll get less noise in your photos than when you shoot at ISO 1600 in the summer or warmer weather. ;)

    Otherwise, I'm not sure there's much you can do if you wish to shoot in very frigid temperatures.
  3. James.Paul macrumors regular

    May 19, 2002
    Northallerton, England
    Your not the only one to be looking forward to the snow. It seems a bit common sense but the first thing would be to protect yourself when going out in the snow and frost. Really wrap up warm, hats, clothing etc. Always have a spare set of clothes with you in the car or something. Take a flask with warm drink etc. That has come in very handy for early morning -5'c shoot. Secondly the gear, keep it stored in a good quality bag that has plenty of internal padding and is weatherproof, only open it when neccessary. Probably the biggest thing about your equipment is in the cold your batteries will run down very quickly. Have plenty of spares and keep them as warm as possible. The other thing is if you get condensation inside your equipment let it clear naturally. Haven't really got too many samples of winter snow on my site as we don't get too much up here although I go out as much as I can when it does but by all means have a look at my site at
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I've read some people recommending using underwater housing on your camera when shooting in snow or other cold, wet conditions. Not actually tried it, but is should give some extra protection to your camera (even it it makes it a bit more awkward to use).

  5. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    Take lots of batteries and put them in your shirt pocket (under your jacket) or some other pocket close to your body.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    In terms of the gear, the worst part is when you bring a very cold camera indoors. Water condenses on and inside of it. Maybe the new plastic body cameras are better about this?
  7. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    Page 168 of the manual talks about bringing extreme temps, etc. Worth a read. Otherwise I would reiterate what everyone else is saying about the batteries. If you're looking for a water/snow proof bag, check out one of the LowePro's. I have the DryZone Rover, its really great for questionable weather.

    You can get the 20D manual here if you don't have it:

    FWIW, the 20D is a magnesium body camera.
  8. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    If you're shooting in snow, you'll have to keep this in mind:

    Your camera's meter will try to make the pure white snow 18% gray. The way its going to do this is bring the exposure way down so everything in the picture is a dak silhouette, and the snow is much darker than it actually is.

    You'll need to afjust your autoexposure (i think you can) to increase by two stops or so. That way, you're telling your camera to meter as it normally does, but to up its measurements so the snow will be white, not gray. If you can't do that, just shoot in manual mode and make sure your meter tells you it's about two stops too bright.

    This works well for sunny snow scenes, though for cloudy ones you might want to tell your meter to overexpose by only a stop or stop and a half, because the snow will actually appear somewhat gray.
  9. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    All great responses thank you. This just the type of advice I was looking for.:)
  10. glennp macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Washington, DC
    Carry a ziplock bag. Before you come inside to warmer temperatures, put the camera in the ziplock bag. This'll help keep warm indoor air are from condensing on the camera. The other thing to do is put the camera in the similarly cold (and well padded/insulated) camera bag and wait until the camera stays in the bag long enough to reach room temperature before taking it out.

    This is key. The batteries don't hold a charge well when cold.

    Follow these two things and as long as you don't drop the camera in the snow, you'll be fine.

Share This Page