Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter photo tips

Here are a few winter photo tips everyone should know.
Remember, when you are cold and not functioning at your best, the same applies to your camera gear.
* Protect yourself by dressing in layers and using chemical heat packs to keep hands, feet, or body warm.
* Protect your camera with a padded camera bag with one of these chemical packs inside to keep your battery warm and functioning. Or, if your coat is big enough, you can keep the camera zipped inside and use body heat in the same manner.
* To avoid condensation build up on the inside of your camera when you go from a cold climate to the indoors, either place the camera in a cool spot just inside a door for an hour and then move to a slightly warmer spot inside to let it warm up gradually, OR, place it in a large Zip Lock type bag BEFORE taking it inside.
This allows the condensation to build up on the inside of the bag and NOT in your camera.
You can go ahead and remove your card and process your photos while the camera is warming up.
* When shooting under damp conditions, mist, rain, snow, etc., protect your camera with a plastic camera glove (available from camera shops or online at Porter's Camera Store
These sleeves have a draw string in the end of a long tube that snugs down around the end of the lens and then opens up to fit the camera.
At the back end of the sleeve is a cutout for clear viewing through your camera's eyepiece. However, with auto focus cameras this isn't a real issue, just look through the plastic to make sure you have the subject framed like you want it and shoot.
NOTE.... A plastic grocery bag with a hole cut in the end and fastened around the lens with a rubber band will also work in a pinch.
* Use a small umbrella to shade the lens from sun flares or getting false light readings when your subject is in the shade and your camera in the sun...also valuable in keeping rain or snow off the camera and lens when no other protection from the weather is available......there are umbrellas that can be attached to tripods that leave the hands free...otherwise it takes a little practice to handle all the gear at once....or you can take a helper along to hold it.
* If shooting snow photos, check your camera for a "snow" setting that will give you white snow, not gray.
For more info regarding this problem, go to the New York Institute of Photography web-site
*******If you shoot a film camera, when you submit your film for development ask for one "step" of blue to be eliminated. This will help eliminate a bluish/gray cast to trees, old wood and shadows.

When show hits, be prepared to get out into your neighborhood on foot to get those great shots of children building snowmen, snowball fights, snow shrouded shrubs, birds around feeders (especially Cardinals), etc.
LOOK for those unusual shots and have fun!