Red Fox captured by D6 / 180-400VR

The snow has finally arrived and with it, great critter opps! Snow acts as a great reflector, the first big plus. You can see into the belly of this pouncing Red Fox, that’s because of the reflected light. The snow brings with it a great feeling and in large part makes finding a great background much easier. The best part of winter snow though is the pelt critters bare to stay warm. This all adds up to good times behind the camera. Staying behind that lens in the cold does take a little extra prep and thought. Let’s talk about your fingers, the extremity that takes the cold first.

Gloves are the obvious way to go to keep your fingers warm. Yes, pockets work as well but make it really hard to fire the camera. Keep in mind that gloves are meant to warm up your fingers. Your fingers are not meant to warm your gloves. The simplest thing is to use thinner gloves and hand warmers. Start with warm gloves. You can do this in many ways from keeping them in an inside jacket pocket to in a packet with hand warmers. The second method works also for keeping your hands warm. When you feel the slightest chill or a lull in the shooting, put them in the pocket with the warmers and let them do their job. Thick gloves like ice climbing gloves work great if you use them as intended. Warm your hands with the lines and put a hand warmer INSIDE the main glove to heat them up before using.

With all this in mind, practice in the warmth of your home operation all your camera controls, tripod controls and proper handholding and long lens technique wearing your gloves. With that, you’re set to go out and yeah … jump for snow!

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