Douglas Tree Sqrl
captured by D5 / 300f4 PF

How do I shoot in snow? I’ve had that email and phone call a couple of times this week. To be totally up front, understand that I just don’t get cold. Sharon is always telling me to put on a jacket so I don’t make other people feel cold. With that said, my preferred way to work in the snow, is to not be in the snow. Both of these photographs were taken from the comfort of inside my office shooting out an open window. But I have the feeling that’s not really at the heart of the question I’m being asked. The Musk Ox photo I posted yesterday on Instagram, I was standing out in the elements at -30 shooting and that is the most common way we shoot, out in the elements. When it comes to the gear (like gloves), like everything else I do, I use the KISS theorem. Here’s how I apply it.

Red-Shafted Flicker
captured by D5 / 800mm

I start by avoiding breathing on the camera’s eyepiece. I gotta think about it, it doesn’t come naturally but having it fog up seems to always happen when there is something great to shoot (I do use the DK-17a Anti-fog eyepiece). Next, I have a clean, dry, white towel inside my jacket. I use this NOT to cover my gear … I don’t COVER my gear when shooting in rain or snow. I use the towel in snow to “snap” snow off. Snow stays as snow and doesn’t turn into water unless it gets warm. So if you use the towel to “snap” off the snow, it just goes away. How about condensation, I actually have more issues with that in places like the TX coast going from an air conditioned room to the beach than in the snow. In the snow, once I get back in the room, the gear I used instantly comes out, goes on the bed and is covered by a clean bath towel. There is sits until it becomes room temperature. Once it’s warmed, it gets cleaned and serviced then put back in the MP-1 V2 and zipped in. Then that gets placed in the coldest part of the room, furtherest from the heater. And in snow, I’ve not had condensation issues. And that’s it, that’s all I do.

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