Tutorials

Technique: Shooting in cold weather

Don’t put your X-series camera into hibernation for the winter, get outside and make the most of the conditions

We may be in the colder and darker months of the year, but there are still photo opportunities. The good news is Fujifilm X-series cameras are ideally equipped to make the most of the season with a range of features that will help you to get the best possible shots in all wintry conditions. As the temperature drops, there are a few extra considerations for your camera gear.

Power

Battery performance can be severely affected by low temperatures, so it’s worth buying an additional cell if you’re going to be out regularly in freezing conditions. Make sure all batteries are fully charged before you leave home and if they do die while you’re out, putting them somewhere warm – next to your body, ideally – can often grab a few extra frames.

Misting up

Going from a warm house or car into cold air will inevitably cause your X-series camera to mist up with condensation so, if possible, you should avoid subjecting your kit to large temperature changes. If it’s safe to do so, put your kit (without batteries) into your car a couple of hours before you go out so it can acclimatise. Similarly, putting your kit in a colder part of the house will help reduce condensation build-up – just don’t forget the batteries before you leave. The same applies when you come back in after a cold shoot. Reverse the process, placing them in a colder part of the house first, then gradually warming them up to room temperature. Sealing kit in a plastic bag with a silica gel pack can help. While you’re out, keep lens changes to a bare minimum or, better still, avoid them altogether. Should you get condensation, avoid the temptation to wipe it away and wait until it clears naturally. Unless you own a weather-proof X-T1, using a camera cover and keeping a chamois leather close to hand is a good way of keeping your kit dry.

And don’t forget to apply all these rules to yourself, too. Layer your clothing to stay warm and dry and be sure to take warm drinks and food to keep your batteries charged!

After some cold snaps? Try these…

Frosty close-ups

517800479
This is the perfect subject matter for the XF60mm Macro lens on interchangeable lens X-series cameras or the Macro/Super Macro mode on a fixed lens model. Suitable objects abound so keep an eye out for interesting patterns and subjects that can add a welcome splash of colour.

Snow scenes

516490879
For simplicity, select the Snow program setting. For more control, dial in some + exposure compensation – try +2 in sunny conditions – to avoid the snow rendering as grey sludge. Early morning starts are best and use the Velvia Film Simulation mode for vibrant blue skies.

Starry nights

517016345
Grab your tripod and head out on a clear night. Consider using the open flash technique to illuminate foreground subjects. Avoid including the moon in the shot and use an exposure of at least 30 seconds to render some stars.

Mist and fog

518202513
Look for distinct shapes and try using either the Soft Focus filter setting or increasing the ISO to introduce some grain. Shooting in black & white can be effective, as can fitting a telezoom such as the XF55-200mm to pick out more distant details. Check out this blog for more tips for shooting fog.

Winter portraits

517220399
A great option, regardless of the weather. Hats, scarves, big coats and umbrellas all make great props. The XF56mm is the ideal portrait lens and be sure to make the most of that super wide aperture to throw backgrounds out of focus and deliver beautiful bokeh.

2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s