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Author Topic: Photographing in extreme winter  (Read 3221 times)
Yogesh Sarkar
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« on: December 06, 2011, 10:16:44 PM »
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I would be heading to Ladakh on Christmas and it is already below 11 degree Fahrenheit there during night and temperatures are only going to drop even further (few places will likely hit -4 degrees Fahrenheit).

I have a modest kit comprising of 1000D, 18-55IS, 55-250IS and 50 f1.8 II and a Hoya CPL and Cokin 121S GND (en route as we speak). And this is going to be my first time in such a cold place and first time photographing snow with my DSLR, so I am looking for tips on how to go about shooting landscape and generally protecting and taking care of my equipment.

Yes for those who don’t know, most of Ladakh is above 11,000ft in altitude (would be spending a few nights above 14,000ft) and since air is generally clean, one gets fantastic deep blue skies.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 11:19:47 PM »
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I recommend carrying several spare batteries, which you keep in inside pockets where they keep warm from your body heat. When the battery in the camera seems to die (which it will pretty quickly in the cold), swap it out with a warm one, and put the used battery in another inside pocket, where it will warm up and be ready for more use later on.

In winter I always carry at least three spare batteries on cold days, and more than once I have rotated through all of them more than once. They do revive after a few minutes in a warm pocket, so they don't really need recharging as soon as they seem to.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Yogesh Sarkar
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 03:10:45 AM »
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Thanks Eric for your reply, have just received my battery grip, so would be using AAs as well for backup and I am planing to get one or two LP-E5s as well.
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francois
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 03:46:39 AM »
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This article, here on Luminous Landscape might be interesting.
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Francois
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 10:59:16 AM »
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Hi Yogesh,
When you go into warm buildings or vehicles, wrap your camera and lenses in plastic bags to stop condensation from forming on them. Condensed moisture on a cold lens becomes frost (of course) next time you go out.
And practice shooting with gloves on.
When its really cold, set everything to automatic and focus on good composition.
Have fun!
Scott
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shaunw
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 12:37:22 PM »
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This guy is a seasoned photographer/mountaineer, he just happens to have a new book out as well

http://www.alexandrebuisse.org/book

regards Shaun
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. – Ansel Adams
http://www.shaunwalbyphotography.com
Thomas Achermann
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 02:11:50 PM »
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...have just received my battery grip, so would be using AAs as well for backup and I am planing to get one or two LP-E5s as well.
If I remember correctly (please correct me if I am wrong...) the battery grip discharges both batteries simultaneously. Of course you'd have more power because of the two batteries but both of them will suffer from the cold at the same time. I'd say it would be better to just use the camera without grip and keep the second (and 3rd etc) battery in a warm pocket so you can switch them if the installed one 'dies from the cold'.

I'd second what Eric and Scott said about batteries and condensation.

As for the condensation: I'm living in northern Finland where winters tend to be VERY cold (it hit -40F/C last February) so my equipment comes often back in a quite cold state. My experience is to just let everything inside the closed backpack - camera and lenses will slowly adjust to the warm temperature indoors. I never had any problems with this method in years. Of course if you need the camera inside then it's another story...

Good light, and enjoy your trip...and make sure you shoot RAW!
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Thomas Achermann - Muonio, Finland - www.thomasachermann.com
feppe
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 02:12:28 PM »
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-20 Centigrade isn't extreme - you'll have to go 10 degrees lower for that Tongue
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 04:01:36 PM »
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Although Nantucket doesn't get as cold as where you are going, we have had issues with battery grips on the 5D2 in cold weather. My husband usually uses a grip but has to remove it when it is very cold. I would not use a grip in the kind of cold you are going to experience and second the advice to keep your batteries close to your body to keep them warm.

Sharo
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Yogesh Sarkar
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 03:25:11 AM »
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Thanks Francois, going through that right now.

Thanks Scott for the tips, btw I guess main chance of condensation would be, when I keep moving in and out of the car, so I should wrap that camera each time, before getting in?

Shaun, not sure whether I can get it in India and that too before my departure.

Thomas, I wasn’t planning to put both the batteries in to the grip. Just one would remain in it, while the other one is kept inside my shirt’s pocket. Essentially got the grip for vertical shooting and for the ability to use AAs, when needed. Otherwise I am very satisfied with the performance of my 1000D’s battery, which generally lasts for at least 1200 shots in not so cold climate. Having said that, I will heed to your and Sharo’s advice, wouldn’t put on the grip, till I need to start shooting with the AA batteries. Oh yes, I almost always shoot RAW Smiley

Feppe, the max I have witnessed is -4. Though at that time I was on a motorcycle and was wet from head to toe, so it felt colder than it actually was, but surely, nothing compared to what I am about to face, as the lowest the mercury drops in Delhi is around 4 degrees Celsius! So it is sort of extreme for me.

Thanks Sharo, will avoid using the grip, unless I need to shoot with AA. 
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 07:49:19 AM »
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Thanks Scott for the tips, btw I guess main chance of condensation would be, when I keep moving in and out of the car, so I should wrap that camera each time, before getting in?

Yes. Wrap it snugly so that condensation forms outside the plastic.

Not necessary if you keep the car cold, which I sometimes do if I am very warmly dressed and don't want to sit like that in a warm car.

Scott
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Yogesh Sarkar
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 01:17:39 PM »
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If I ask my travel partners and taxi driver to do that, I am pretty sure they will leave me by the road side Cheesy
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feppe
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 06:48:59 PM »
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Feppe, the max I have witnessed is -4. Though at that time I was on a motorcycle and was wet from head to toe, so it felt colder than it actually was, but surely, nothing compared to what I am about to face, as the lowest the mercury drops in Delhi is around 4 degrees Celsius! So it is sort of extreme for me.

-4 on a motorcycle and wet? Now that's extreme. I just put my Harley away for the winter, when it dropped below +5 Centigrade...
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