Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Best Photography Gear for a Winter Shoot in the Mountains

If you're planning on doing a photo/video shoot in the mountains at Winter, there are plenty of things to consider when it comes to picking the right gear. I've just got back from a week in St Moritz in temperatures as low as -20 degrees C, shooting on everything from a frozen lake to deep powder. Here are my tips:

- Pack plenty of batteries. They will die very quickly unless you keep them warm. Do everything from sleeping with them in your sleeping bag, keeping them in your jacket pocket when not using them, or if you have a car, keep them inside with the heating on!


- Get a decent back pack. I use the Mission Photo from Dakine which has lasted me four years so far. Do everything you can to keep your pack as light as possible. Plan your day accurately and only pack the necessary gear. 


- Take walkie talkies. A pair of radios are priceless, not only making comms more efficient between team members but also saving your voice from having to shout. I use Motorola radios, they are small, light and have a range of about 4km.


- Pack a pair of sunglasses or goggles. Even when it's overcast, the light reflecting off the snow can prove to be startlingly bright and difficult to work in, especially if you're looking through a viewfinder or at an LCD screen all day.


- On the same note, pack suncream. You're at greater risk of sun burn with snow around you reflecting the light.


- Wear layers, gloves and take hand warmers. Although I wore plenty of layers, my biggest mistake on this trip was not taking fingerless or touch screen gloves and my hands really suffered. Luckily one of the crew had brought hand warmers with him which was a lifesaver! Operating a camera, tripod, jib and all the other accessories that come with a photo shoot, require nimble work and if it's freezing cold, keeping your hands warm is crucial.


- Use an LCD Viewfinder Loupe for video. If you're shooting with a DSLR like me, I highly recommend getting hold of a loupe that you can clip onto the LCD. It magnifies the screen for you and blocks out external light, making it easier for you to see the LCD and keep your image sharp and in focus.



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