Winter Photography Tips - ColdSnap Photography

Winter Photography Tips

Tips for Photographing in Winter 

Stewart River In Winter

Photographing in winter can be a very enjoyable and rewarding endeavor. The winter season offers some of the most colorful light of the year. The reflection of light off of snow and ice combined with the long light rays creates a visual delight that cannot be found any other time of the year.

As with most aspects of photography the digital revolution offers the photographer challenges and advantages. There are three primary concerns regarding equipment for the winter photographer; battery power, battery power, battery power. Sweden Cold sucks the life out of batteries very quickly. The colder the weather the quicker your camera battery will go dead. When I go out to photograph in the winter I always carry several extra camera batteries with me. I try to carry these extra batteries someplace close to my body where they will stay warm. One way to help conserve battery power is to shut off the automatic image preview on the back of your camera. The LCD screen requires a lot of battery power to generate that image. Needless to say if your camera has a “live view” feature I would turn that off as well. Only preview or postview your images when you absolutely must. Better yet wait until you get back to the warmth of your home and computer lab to view your images. Consult your camera manual to turn off the image preview feature.

Keeping your camera batteries warm is only part of the battle. Keeping your fingers and toes warm is the other half of the battle. The new polypropylene and “Smart Wool” winter clothes are the way to go. Never wear cotton next to your skin if you want to stay warm. Cotton has no insulating ability once it gets wet unlike polypropylene or wool. The “Smart Wool” clothes combine the best of both wool and poly without the itch.

For your feet I recommend either a good pair of Mukluks like the

Steger Mukluks or a good pair of Pack boots like the Sorels. Two years ago I finally replaced my 31 year old pair of Sorels! For traction on ice I recommend you add a pair of YakTrax to the bottoms of your boots. These handy devices are like having snow chains on your tires.

To keep your hands warm I use a combination of fingerless gloves with a mitten flap (I prefer the poly variety rather than the wool-rag type for less lint) and a polypropylene liner glove. This combination gives me the finger dexterity that I need to operate the controls of the camera while allowing me to keep my fingers warm when I am not operating the camera. site directory . If you are like me and your extremities don’t get the blood circulation like they used to you may want to add a couple of the chemical warmers in the mitten flap for added warmth.REI outfitters can supply you with any of the above items for your hands or feet, except for the Steger Mukluks which are only available through Steger online or in Ely.

 Stoney Point Stack Ice
One final tip. Stack ice on Lake Superior is fickle. The conditions have to be just right, and the conditions can change in a matter of a few hours. Mid-February to Mid-March is the best time. Stay tuned for the next newsletter for further updates on the lake and ice conditions. You can always email me at  for a specific ice condition report. 

 With a few preparations you should be able to spend hours outside enjoying light and subject matter.