Winter Photography Tips

Winter Photography Tips

posted in: Gear, Resources | 0



Enjoying the outdoors goes hand in hand with many people’s passion for photography. With the popularity of prosumer DSLRs, it is important to share some helpful advice in caring for your expensive moment-capturing gadgets. As winter gets into full swing non-weatherproof cameras run a higher risk of moisture damage.

If you weren’t aware, water is Not good for electronics. That includes camera bodies and lenses. If you value your equipment, keeping it safe and protecting it from the elements should be a top priority.


1. Keep Everything Dry!

Remember: Cold to Warm = Condensation

Condensation accumulates when a cold object enters a warm environment. What does that have to do with your camera? Everything silly, didn’t you read the first line? Rule one, keep your camera dry.. the rest don’t even matter. Ok, maybe “don’t drop it” is an important rule too. Seriously though, condensation can fog up the inside of your lens, or even worse, possibly ruin the electronics inside the lens or body of your camera. To mitigate the occurrence of condensation, it is best to provide a slow transition from a cold temperature to a warm temp. If you spend even 15 minutes outside snapping snowflakes, don’t step inside and directly expose your camera to the heat change. Give it a half-step to slow down the temperature change, this will also keep the outer lens from fogging up. Use some form of enclosure such as your camera bag to provide shelter while the temperature equalizes gradually. Often people will wrap their camera bag in a plastic grocery bag so if condensation does occur, it does so on the inside if the plastic bag and not their lens. I’m not sure of the effectiveness of this method, so take that as you will. I would probably wrap it in a towel as well. My preferred method is to leave my camera in its bag for a little while longer when I come indoors. Sometimes this can take up to 30 minutes, but its worth it. You will eliminate having a foggy lens, and avoid ruining some of your expensive equipment.



2. Use Silica Gel Packs

Keeping your camera dry is imperative. We’ve covered this. You can also use  common Silica gel packs. Those small white packets you find at the bottom of a box of shoes that you’re not supposed to eat? Yep. These are a thrifty and nifty solution for helping maintain optimal dryness in your camera bag. They’re not sponges so don’t go dunking your gear in the river, but they do absorb small amounts of moisture from the surrounding atmosphere. Even though your bag is most likely not air-tight, they should help mitigate condensation while camping overnight or any other temperature and humidity fluctuations you subject your gear to. Toss a few in your bag and consider yourself better off.

3. Keep Batteries Warm

Lithium batteries have an annoying tendency to lose up to 50% of their life in cold weather. Expect to get less than half of the shots than usual if you are shooting in extreme cold. If you bring spare batteries, keep them close to your body for warmth. If you are not taking photos for a while, take the battery out of your camera and place it inside an inner pocket. You can save plenty of juice for extra photos if you can shelter your batteries from the cold.


I hope you learned something new today! If you know anyone who will be taking their camera out this winter, I encourage you to share this with them. Happy Holidays!