December 05, 2019

 

Keeping your gear neat and tidy in the field can be surprisingly difficult, especially when the weather is rolling in and moisture starts to fall. The last thing you want to do is ruin that expensive camera gear because of a few organizational mishaps. Here are our top tips for keeping your gear organized and tidy while out in the field.

1. Keep your zippers closed

It may seem trivial but it’s easier than you think to forget to fully close your zips on your bag. Once you get into the flow of your shooting, it’s easy to accidentally kick snow into the open back, trip on it entirely, or get a bit of snow spray from a nearby skier or snowboarder. Take the extra two seconds and make sure that baby is zipped right up!

winter photography gear piled up on iceland beach
Photo by Simon Markhof

2. Change lenses effectively

It’s difficult to change lenses effectively on a nice clear sunny day so, on a snowy day, it gets even more complicated. While changing lenses you want to avoid letting anything get onto the lens of the glass and the sensor of the camera. This technique takes a bit of practice but it works.

First, always keep the camera pointed down so there’s little risk of getting moisture on the camera’s sensor. Get the lens you want to change to by unscrewing the lid but keeping it on. Remove the camera body from the current lens and do a quick change, simultaneously putting the new lens on the camera body as well as the lens cap on the spare lens. This helps minimize the chance of anything falling into your gear. 

You can also check out an amazing tool created by Peak Design called the Lens Kitwhich is an adapter to their well-loved Capture clip. The Lens kit allows you to efficiently and quickly swap out lenses. 

winter photography gear management changing lenses with gloves onPhoto by Lukas Riedl

3. Use a lens hood

The lens hood helps protect the glass of the lens from water spots so be sure to put your lens hood on before you start shooting. As long as you’re not pointing the camera up to the sky, you should be able to minimize water spots on your lens. If you’re out walking around and scouting the shot, be sure to keep the camera down.

camera with lens hood in the mountains

4. Carry a lot of lens cloths

A microfiber cloth is essential when shooting in wet conditions. You may need to wipe your lens free of any water spots so it’s handy to have a few microfiber cloths hanging around in your pack for a quick wipe. We also recommend carrying a heavier towel like cloth to wipe off the camera body when it gets wet. It’s good to have a few spare cloths in case one gets wet you can just swap it out with a drier one.

microfibre lens cloths on camera lens

5. Use silica moisture absorbing bags

You know the silica bags you get when you buy something? You may think they’re useless but don’t toss them, save them! Chuck them in your camera bag and they will help absorb the moisture that may inevitably seep into your pack on a wet or snowy day. 

woman smiling and looking at the camera screen

6. Bring spare batteries

The cold kills your batteries faster than you think so it’s a good idea to have a few spares tucked away. Batteries die faster when they are cold so try keeping your spares in a pocket close to your body, preferably on the inside, so they can stay warmer from your body heat. 

SD card stored in the pocket of a photography glovesPhoto by Lorraine Turci

7. Multitool and duct tape. 

A multitool is a great thing to have in your pack at all times. This keeps you prepared in case you need to fix or repair something on the go. We also have a small wad of duct tape which comes in handy in a number of different situations. From taping up an exposed wire on a cable to quick fixing a hole in your waterproof gear. Duct tape continues to be one of our favourite pieces of kit!

\Photography gloves holding a camera in the snow
Photo by Mic Anthony Hay

8. Let your gear warm up slowly

When you’ve finished your session and you’re heading inside, don’t be too hasty in bringing in your camera gear. Bringing your gear into a warm environment too quickly will cause the glass to fog up and will form condensation on the inside of your lenses. To avoid this, let your bag warm up slowly by leaving it in the doorway or another cooler room before bringing it fully inside. If you’re just stopping in for a quick break, leave your bag outside while you run in. 

snowboarder sitting outside of snowy cabin holding a camera

 

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission without any cost to you. We only ever recommend products that we have personally used and can stand behind.


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