Coming in from the cold

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by sandyv, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Though it is usually a good bit warmer than several places I have lived, Montana is in for two weeks or so of low double and single digit temperatures. I don't entirely move inside, (I recently saw an interesting insulated camera "coat?" B&H advertised), but it'll be mostly indoor stuff for a while. As always, there are cases full of slides and slide trays, piles of negative sleeves and endless family photos going back generations waiting to be scanned. I planned ahead as well with a new background, an inexpensive Green Screen kit to try, also found a "spouse acceptable" rolling table for the basement bathroom that will provide space for me fool around with some old fashioned darkroom work. I have a decent stock of inks and paper so will be printing some favorite images from the past year. Had some fierce Vet bills, so the usual short trip to a warmer climate is not on the agenda this year.
    What do others who live in cold places plan to do photographically to make it through to Spring?
  2. I'm blessed with a new puppy this year, so my major activities will revolve around photographing him, and my family. He's a Lab/Golden so he is pretty impervious to the cold, and Iowa doesn't usually have but a week or so of temps below 20F. Some of those days will be below 0F so we won't be out in THAT kind of weather for long.
    I have one camera in particular that hates the cold (Pentax 645NII) but I think that it simply doesn't perform well with alkalines in frigid temps. I plan to try out some Lithium Energizers to see if that helps.
    My darkroom is mobile too, so it takes me time to set it up in the laundry room. I haven't printed much. The long nights of Winter are perfect though. My laundry room isn't perfectly light sealed so I need to work at night. I too have a list of things that need doing, mainly rooting around in my photo albums and trying to get some handle on my backups. I occasionally spend many hours improving my manual dexterity playing video games too. That will come in handy if I ever need to capture a decisive moment - or zombies invade. The zombies are more likely.
  3. Try living in south Florida, Sandy. The main reason to be inside is to escape the heat and accompanying high humidity. When I moved here in 1958, there were definable seasons, including winter. For a few years now, we mainly have 2 seasons, distinguished from each other by one's level of discomfort being outside.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Patrick -- Have had quite a few Labs and friends with Goldens , S/B a great cross! Ah, puppies -- the wonderful and also the work! My Darkroom isn't light tight either, though a heavy curtain might do the trick. Will have to find out.
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Michael -- you certainly have a point. You can nearly always put on enough clothes to stay warm, but though it seems to getting to be moot, there is a limit to how much you can take off to stay cool and still go out in public! I could handle the heat -- tropical bugs not so much.
  6. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I'm well versed in life below the comfort-zone.
    First, dress for the conditions. Layers are best. Warm toes, fingers, ears and nose are essential for a successful outing. I have camera gloves that I wear beneath moose hide mitts, thermal socks worn inside felt-pack boots and a lycra balaclava under my parka hood.
    Second, at least one extra battery carried in a pocket under my coat with my phone and a couple of energy bars (a frozen bar is a drag when you need it most).
    Third, I affix the lens (and shade) I've chosen for the job at hand before I leave the house or my vehicle and only take the one with me. The body and lens are protected in a neoprene case worn over a shoulder, so no accessory bag.
    The manuals for all my digital bodies have always stated the body will perform down to 0C (32F). Well, they will work in conditions a lot colder than that but sometimes a little exposure compensation will be in order if things get sluggish (the same with manual film bodies of yesteryear).
    I'm looking out my window at a cold, grey, windy, snow covered afternoon - almost perfect!
  7. I didn't get to use the darkroom much when school was out, so I'm hoping to do a bunch of printing when the weather is too cold or not pretty enough to go shoot. And I could try to finish the projects I started last winter and didn't finish. And redo my website (which I've been promising myself I'd do for about 4 years now).
  8. Bundle up, bring something hot to drink and keep moving if possible. Arctic Muck boots and extra batteries go a long way. I cannot match Gup's -34C. I think the coldest I've been shooting in was -13F/-25C with film and a Nikon N90s and no problems.
    Winter is a time of great opportunities photographically and otherwise.
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Gup & Edwin -- Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Fishing, Winter camping, been there, still have the clothes (which still fit) and the gear, but no longer the interest. Decided a couple of years ago that I was at an age where I didn't much care for being out in the cold for extended periods. Also don't enjoy the precautions necessary to protect cameras from moisture problems likely with temp changes. Wish you well with it -- I know I enjoyed it while doing it.
  10. Gup, that just hurts.
    Winter lets me work on photography that can't be done at other times of the year, mainly ice and snow flakes. For the indoor photography, I'll work more on studio and product shots. I make art glass and need to become competent with taking the photos for many uses ranging from web to show entries. When I get frustrated I'll grab the chain saw and cut firewood.
  11. When the cold comes to Korea, I head south to warmer climates. This winter, I've lined up a week in Penang to eat great food and seek out new street art, then a couple of weeks in a bungalow on a quiet beach on the north end of Koh Phangan. Haven't decided on the what to the last couple of weeks of winter break--thinking about visiting a friend in Chiang Mai.
  12. Sandy,
    North Idaho is a lot like your neck of the woods, sans the wind. Cold is my friend, though age-related "arthritis" means I have to warm up more than I used to. Dry cold is great, wet cold is messy. If our climate hasn't changed, perhaps the new "administration" will decree an end to change. Regardless, I shoot more mid-day shots than during warmer weather, and way fewer early morning/late evening shots.
  13. Just by way of comparison, here in Australia winter is often the best time to get out and photograph. The golden light seems to last much of the day, and sunrise and sunset occur at civilised hours. A jacket, beanie, and light gloves are the most you need, and I have often been out on a sunny winter day in short sleeves.
    In summer, OTOH, the light is viciously contrasty most of the day and the golden"hour" seems to last 10 minutes. Not to mention sunscreen and sweat all over my camera!

Share This Page