Wow! The weather recently turned quickly here in the Upper Midwest. We went from 40’s to teens, he skies dropped some snow and then those cold, winds from the northwest blew in. As a dog owner, however, I’m like the Postal Service. We walk no matter what the weather. I consider it good training and discipline for those times when I have to be out in the elements. This past week is but one example.
On our first day of measurable snow, I had the pleasure to photograph a young, yellow lab named Charlie Jack and his owner Shannon. The snow came in waves of light to heavy and the north winds plastered the snow against the north side of the trees. It was beautiful weather to be outdoors and make some great images of the two of them!
TIP #1: For those of you interested in photographing in the falling snow, either purchase a special cover for your lens/DSLR or rubber-band a plastic bag around your gear to keep it dry. If the wind’s blowing hard like it was this day, be sure to have your subject facing into it vs. your uncovered lens. If not, it will be the first and last time you make that mistake!
Then, 2 days later, the temperatures plummeted and we had our coldest day of the year since last winter. I believe it was about 20 degrees, with a single digit wind chill when I headed out to Lake Park to photograph the Lenardson Family. We had hoped for snow, which we got, but hadn’t anticipated that bone chilling wind. After some time in an sunny, but windy, open area, we headed for the protection of one of Lake Park’s noted ravines. One year old Travis was bundled up on his snow suit and 4 year old Travis enjoyed a mock snowball fight with me. Everyone came prepared for the cold and we came away with some wonderful images to remember a family’s cold day in the park!
TIP #2: So take your camera outside this winter and see what you can come up with. When you come back inside, cover up your camera with a towel or coat until the camera comes back to room temperature. Some people put it in a larger, plastic bag. Why? For those of you who wear glasses, you’ll understand right away. The warm air of your home will hit the cold body of your camera and condense on it in the form of moisture. Moisture and digital electronics don’t play well together!
TIP #3: If you want to see your images as soon as possible, get a zip lock bag and put your camera’s flash card into the zip lock bag. Seal it shut and wait until your card has come back to room temperature. Then you can download your images without worrying about ruining the flash card due to moisture. Keep this zip lock bag with your camera gear during the winter. The same phenomenon holds true for bringing a cold camera into a warm car, do don’t forget to put it into your camera bag or cover it with a towel.
With some forethought, you too can venture out into the snow & cold to make some memorable images of your family. If you’re interested in learning more about your camera (especially if you’re getting a new one this Holiday!) and how you can make better images of your family, contact me at 414.550.5340 because I’m setting up an “So You Got A New Camera” class, for February 2011. Limited to 6 people.