Cold weather can be tough on photographers, we are delicate flowers. It’s been so cold here in Pittsburgh that I’ve had
days weeks where the temperature dips below normal operating conditions for my cameras, even causing my Leica M10 to temporarily freeze up (a quick battery pull later and we were back to it). Now, normally I am not one to shy away from a cold day, that is why God created hand/body warmers. I’ll use surgical tape to tape those suckers to every inch of my body if I must. If I’m being honest though, the last few weeks have exceeded even my tolerances. Guess it’s time to hang up the camera and hibernate for a few months, right?… Of course not!
Which brings us to my photography idea for those of you in the same
boat sled as me. Now, you don’t have to be hiding from the cold to take advantage of this tip, it will work in any weather. Grab your camera and slip into comfy driving clothes because you’re about to shoot some stunning pictures from the comfort of you automobile. Taking photographs from your car is generally a bad idea, especially if you’re also the one driving. The speed of the car and constant motion when driving makes it difficult to capture a sharp image with even the best image stabilizing lens or camera. This (and the extremely cold weather) is actually what attracted me to this idea, I always love a good challenge.
Speaking of challenges, for this idea I’d suggest shooting in lower light as opposed to the middle of the afternoon. Shooting with low light means a high ISO and most likely a slower shutter speed. You’ll have to embrace motion blur or drive very, very slowly. Again, I recommend not doing this while driving. Ask someone else to drive and either shoot over their shoulder or from the passenger seat.
There are two great ways to capture interesting photographs from a moving car… You can either try to keep your hands as steady as you can and accept that the images won’t be super sharp, or you can purchase a specialized tripod for in or on your vehicle (I’d recommend in, no way I’d strap a multi-thousand dollar rig to the outside of my car). But what am I saying?! This idea is yours to run with, experiment with whatever you want and have a blast doing it.
Have you got any really great cold weather photography ideas? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. You can follow me on Instagram @PhotolisticLife if you’d like to keep up with all the different photography projects I get into. Enjoy!
I used to have the best second story windows to shoot out of – could open them and hang out a bit until I got too cold and then pop back in and warm up. One faced east, one south and then there was the first floor dining room window that faced west and had the BEST afternoon light…….now I just go outside because although it is in the high 30’s, low 40’s lately in Jacksonville, it isn’t prohibitory to going outside with your camera. Oh – I also used to shoot through the roof top from my car with the sun roof open but I would always pull over first, if I was driving!! You can get some decent shots at a red light if you are prepared ahead of time. Also, some interesting shots can be had in the rear view and/or side mirrors – again if you are not driving ;).
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