So, the bad news is Old Man Winter and the subpolar regions mean you have to deal with the cold, and photographers know that cold is no friend to cameras. The good news? These days, there are ways to make cold-weather photography more than bearable—I’d say downright enjoyable. How? Here are some cold weather photo tips I’ve gathered over a few years of shooting the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and the long white stretch here at home.
Bundle up. With high-performance gear on the market, it’s becoming much easier to be reasonably comfortable out there in the cold. Layer your clothing, buy a box of cheap heat packs and keep a box in the car. Activate the heat packs 10-15 minutes before you need them. And it doesn’t matter how warm your body is, if your feet are cold, you won’t last very long out there. Invest in a good pair of well-insulated boots, as well as warm socks. Don’t worry about what you look like—just stay warm. Avoid sweating at all costs. Trust me, discomfort leads you to rush through your process, and it can show in your images.
Battery power. It’s one of my main concerns out there. I always keep two spare batteries in an inner pocket. If you’re doing time-lapses or long exposures, I’d recommend carrying tape or rubber bands so you can place hand warmers close to your battery compartment. Also, consider investing in a battery grip to keep the power going. Put the depleted battery in a different pocket than the full batteries so you don’t get confused.