Winter Forest - Snowy forest wallpapers
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WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPSby By Ira J. Schneller
When the weather channel reports that there is a snowstorm coming to my area it means only one thing to me, get my gear ready and go out and try to capture the full force of the storm and all of its beauty. If you are ever lucky enough to be on a picture-making trip and the weather turns to a hard winter¡¯s day, take full advantage of nature in its raw form. The possibilities are endless for success. Not all photos have to be bright with color to be of value, good visual design and simple order are sometimes the only elements that are needed. There are a few things that are essential for you to do to ensure good images in this weather.
Be in good physical shape
Carrying heavy photo gear is physically demanding in any weather, especially when it¡¯s cold and you are bundled up with extra clothing. If you lack stamina you may miss shots by not being able to go where you need to be.
Preparation of tripod
The first thing I do, just before I leave for a cold day of shooting, is to spray my tripod legs with silicone. This keeps them sliding with ease in cold weather. I also spray the leg locks, latches, and collars, so they won¡¯t freeze up especially when there is moisture in the air, or if I set the tripod down in water. Wipe thoroughly to remove any excess spray.
The most important piece of equipment to take care of when photographing in frigid temperatures is you. Being comfortable is the key. Good rain gear and warm footwear are a must. Don¡¯t forget that hat your Mom told you about when you were a child, because keeping your head warm helps keep the rest of your body warmer. Keeping your hands warm and being able to work your controls are another story. I¡¯ve tried many types of gloves and hand warmers, which work to some extent, but I find many of them a little bulky. One solution I have found for keeping my hands warm is silk liners and mittens. When the action starts, off come the mittens and I can still work the controls with the liners on. I also have gloves with removable fingertips. You simply pull back the tips and use the Velcro tabs to secure them. This one works best for me.
Protecting Your Equipment
It is also important to protect the tools with which we make images¡ªwhile cameras do not melt in the snow and rain, they should be kept as dry as possible. There are many good rain covers on the market, and they all do an excellent job. However, I find them a little too cumbersome. Additionally, you need different ones for your various lens- camera combinations. This can get a little costly. I still use a plastic bag and some duct tape or rubber bands¡ªnot too fancy but extremely light and economical. On real harsh days I break out my large golf umbrella and ask someone to hold it for me. The first answer to caring for your cameras is to keep them safe, and to keep them dry. When necessary, I use an ice chest (Igloo) to store and carry my camera gear and small accessories. They weigh and cost very little compared to conventional camera cases, and they are much less susceptible to theft. Besides being waterproof, they clean up easy. I also carry a small waterproof tarp or raincoat that I can lay on the cold or snow covered ground. This helps keep my knees dry and gives me a surface to place things on.
It forms on the equipment when you go from a cold to a warm environment. You can let your gear stay cold until you are out again or you can put it in a sealed zip lock bag before coming inside so the condensation forms outside the bag and not on the camera, lens, or film. If condensation does form on the equipment, dry it off before going back outside or it may freeze in place, and while you¡¯re waiting for it to disappear you might miss a great photo opportunity.
Solving The Battery Problem
Another problem that seems to plague photographers from time to time is having batteries die in cold weather. Today¡¯s high tech cameras need plenty of power for the bells and whistles, and, consequently they run down faster in the cold. I keep spare batteries inside my coat and in my pants pockets where they stay warm and ready to use. Some photographers I know even take the battery out of their camera if they are not going to shoot for a while; but I wouldn¡¯t want to be caught off guard re-inserting a battery when that once in a lifetime picture comes along.
A few words about missed opportunities¡most missed shots are due to unfamiliarity with the equipment. The one thing I am firm on when instructing photographers in the field is that they already know how to operate their cameras. There is rarely a good excuse for fumbling with equipment at any time. (The exception being an equipment malfunction). Learn how to use the camera at home so you¡¯ll be confident enough to concentrate on your subject out in the field.
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