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Archive 2011 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?
  
 
Baduck
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Hey guys,

I┤ve been invited by a local band to come with them to Greenland, Thule Air base, to document the trip and the concert they will play over there. I will be bringing:

5D MkII
7D
16-35L MkII
24L
50f1.4
70-200L IS
100-400L
430EX II

I am aware of the fogging issue when moving the equipment from a cold environment to a "less" cold one. Also, I got 2 sets of gloves and I will keep my extra batteries inside my jacket close to my body to keep them warm. Beside these precautions, what else should I know? average temperature outside would be -25║C (-13║F), could this damage the mechanisms inside the lenses? anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance

Pato.




Dec 15, 2011 at 01:22 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Hi Pato,

It sounds like you're in great shape for this adventure. I been to Godthaab, but not as far North as Thule. It'll be a gas.

I don't think you have anything to worry about, as far as gears and power goes. Aside from the issues you've already mentioned, I've never had any problems with my lenses or cameras, when shooting at -30deg C, or so. OTOH, I've had problems with my toes and fingers, and nose.

In these conditions, it's good to be aware of your breath, especially, where your breath goes. It's really easy to totally fog up your finder, when you look up at your subject, and breathe directly onto the finder.

Cheers, Jim



Dec 15, 2011 at 01:41 AM
austinschutz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Get yourself some hand and feet warmers too. At that temperature it's hard to even function without a bit of "help." Also, switch batteries every once in a while. The cold weather will really affect how long they stay charged - so be ready for that. If you keep them swapped at regular intervals (maybe every hour) it will help.


Dec 15, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Baduck
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Jim: good point, I usually breathe into my finder, I will pay more attention for to that!

Austin: I got shoes rated to -35║C, a bunch of thermal clothes and special gloves. I hope that is enough, we shouldn┤t be outside that much. Switching the batteries sounds like a good idea

Thanks guys!



Dec 15, 2011 at 02:08 AM
threemilesfina
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


I am jealous! My company operates Charter flights into Nuuk with some regularity but I have been unable to hop over for a visit myself.

Been shooting outdoors here in Labrador (just across the way and slightly South of Greenland) with -25C and lower temperatures with no issues other than the ones mentioned.

Sunglasses! Don't forget them! Snow blindness is no joke.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:15 PM
MaxiKana
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Baduck wrote:
Jim: good point, I usually breathe into my finder, I will pay more attention for to that!

Austin: I got shoes rated to -35║C, a bunch of thermal clothes and special gloves. I hope that is enough, we shouldn┤t be outside that much. Switching the batteries sounds like a good idea

Thanks guys!


With this weather what you are doing sevearly changes how you want to be dressed. The more you move the less you want to have on and the less you move the more you want to have on.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:32 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Good advice so far.

I would say that if you have not encountered seriously negative temperatures before your biggest challenge may relate to YOU, not to the camera. Breathing can be difficult when it gets that cold (especially if you have asthma) and your extremities can get very cold very fast (that includes your nose). I would say dress warm, wear hats and gloves, use lip cream and beware glasses freezing to your nose (seriously).

For the camera i have one thing to add to the condensation and cold battery advice - be careful wiping snow/ice from lenses. At these temperatures snow can be quite hard, so think of it as more like grit and less like water.



Dec 15, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Kafn8td
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Take a golf club and some balls with you. Tee it up and smack it. Then you can tell everyone you meet that you played golf north of the Artic circle. Plus if you are on an ice pack the ball will bounce forever.
I went there once in the airforce and that's my claim to fame.



Dec 15, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Kafn8td
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Take a golf club and some balls with you. Tee it up and smack it. Then you can tell everyone you meet that you played golf north of the Artic circle. Plus if you are on an ice pack the ball will bounce forever.
I went there once in the airforce and that's my claim to fame.



Dec 15, 2011 at 08:59 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


When is the trip? Do you realize there is no sunrise this time of year at Thule? It never comes up. You will have some twlight conditions around the middle of the day, but no direct sun. Determine what the outdoor shooting options might be for when ever you are going, and consider skipping on the 100-400 zoom unless you know you will need it. Besides for your cameras, I would say that you also want plenty of batteries for your flash, and you may want to consider buying or borrowing a second Canon flash, because you may need it for both indoors and some of out doors. A second flash gives you two bodies with flash, or a backup flash if one dies, or two flashes for off camera flash lighting.

You did not mention a tripod, and it can be very helpful for low light or night shots outdoors, even if you are shooting people with flash. You can expose the background longer and keep it sharp with a tripod, and still fill flash the forground or people with the short flash duration.




Dec 15, 2011 at 09:17 PM
 

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Baduck
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


great points guys!

threemilesfina

Sunglasses! Don't forget them! Snow blindness is no joke.


Yes, sunglasses are on the list!

MaxiKana

With this weather what you are doing sevearly changes how you want to be dressed. The more you move the less you want to have on and the less you move the more you want to have on.


I am aware of this, we will be getting a special jacket for when we are outdoors and we got a list of recommemded clothes to bring.

15Bit

Good advice so far.

I would say that if you have not encountered seriously negative temperatures before your biggest challenge may relate to YOU, not to the camera. Breathing can be difficult when it gets that cold (especially if you have asthma) and your extremities can get very cold very fast (that includes your nose). I would say dress warm, wear hats and gloves, use lip cream and beware glasses freezing to your nose (seriously).

For the camera i have one thing to add to the condensation and cold battery advice - be careful wiping snow/ice from lenses. At these temperatures snow can
...Show more

Good point, I have never been at temperatures below -15║C, but I hope I will be fine, I have no asthma and I will be bringing a ski mask to warm my face, a hat and gloves, on top of all the other thermal clothes.

Good advice on how to wipe the lenses, I didn┤t even thought of that before.

Kafn8td

Take a golf club and some balls with you. Tee it up and smack it. Then you can tell everyone you meet that you played golf north of the Artic circle. Plus if you are on an ice pack the ball will bounce forever.
I went there once in the airforce and that's my claim to fame.


hahaha, nice one, but I don┤t play golf :P

Roland W

When is the trip? Do you realize there is no sunrise this time of year at Thule? It never comes up. Determine what the outdoor shooting options might be for when ever you are going, and consider skipping on the 100-400 zoom unless you know you will need it. Besides for your cameras, I would say that you also want plenty of batteries for your flash, and you may want to consider buying or borrowing a second Canon flash, because you may need it for both indoors and some of out doors. A second flash gives you two bodies with
...Show more

The trip is late February, the band was invited to play at the Festival of the first light (or something along those lines). I┤ve seen pictures from the band that was there last year, I know there will be sun and -apparently- if weather allows it, we will be going out to see polar bears. I am not sure about this, but I think I better be prepared, that┤s why I am bringing the 100-400. I do have 2 430s and I will be bringing extra batteries for them. Tripod and monopod are on the list



Dec 15, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


The Festival of First Light is celebrating the end to their 4 months of never seeing the sun at that latitude. You should expect the sun to only be a little above the horizon, but for it to stay up for an hour or two, depending on the exact date and location. The twlight before and after will be very long, so if you are prepared for that level of light you will do fine. Sounds like a very interesting trip, and I hope everything works out well for you.


Dec 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM
Baduck
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Thanks Roland!

I┤m trying to be as prepared as I can, but unfortunately I haven┤t got that much info about what will we be doing over there, besides the concert. Thanks for the advice



Dec 15, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


similar link at http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1067521/0#10152565

an excerpt from me is:

"Taking pictures in the cold is all about keeping the batteries warm, having access to the shutter with frozen fingers, avoiding breathing so that it fogs and freezes up the lens, and not getting frostbight on your nose because you are looking through your viewfinder your nose touchs the screen.

Bring even more batteries. Bring gloves that work in mitts. Bring something for covering your nose. Bring more cards - they don't weigh much. And why ration yourself."

And watch which way the wind is blowing so you don't freeze frost on your lens when you breath.




Dec 16, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Fjellfalck
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Baduck wrote:
Hey guys,

I┤ve been invited by a local band to come with them to Greenland, Thule Air base, to document the trip and the concert they will play over there. I will be bringing:

5D MkII
7D
16-35L MkII
24L
50f1.4
70-200L IS
100-400L
430EX II

I am aware of the fogging issue when moving the equipment from a cold environment to a "less" cold one. Also, I got 2 sets of gloves and I will keep my extra batteries inside my jacket close to my body to keep them warm. Beside these precautions, what else should I know? average temperature outside would be -25║C (-13║F), could this damage the
...Show more

I'm used to such conditions each winter. No problems. The important thing to remember is to slowly warm the equipment when you are coming in from the cold temperature outside. If you have the equipment in a good backpack - do not open it for at least 1-2 hours. This is what I do. Some times I also put the camera bag/back pack into a plastic bag before I go inside the house. This gives the extra insurance. Be sure to tighten the plastic bag so no warm air comes inside the bag. Wait for 1-2 hours, then you can watch the results of the shootings of the day.

Going from inside to outside is no problem.

And I all most forgot:
Keep your batteries in a plastic bag in your pocket inside your jacket when you are out in the cold. Warm batteries last longer. Bring many batteries with you. They will last for shorter time than you are used to due to the low temperature.

Happy shooting!

Regards

Fjellfalck



Dec 16, 2011 at 05:54 AM
Baduck
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Scott Stoness wrote:
similar link at http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1067521/0#10152565

an excerpt from me is:

"Taking pictures in the cold is all about keeping the batteries warm, having access to the shutter with frozen fingers, avoiding breathing so that it fogs and freezes up the lens, and not getting frostbight on your nose because you are looking through your viewfinder your nose touchs the screen.

Bring even more batteries. Bring gloves that work in mitts. Bring something for covering your nose. Bring more cards - they don't weigh much. And why ration yourself."

And watch which way the wind is blowing so you don't freeze frost on your lens
...Show more

Thanks for the advice Scott!. I did a search for "cold weather", but missed that post

Fjellfalck

I'm used to such conditions each winter. No problems. The important thing to remember is to slowly warm the equipment when you are coming in from the cold temperature outside. If you have the equipment in a good backpack - do not open it for at least 1-2 hours. This is what I do. Some times I also put the camera bag/back pack into a plastic bag before I go inside the house. This gives the extra insurance. Be sure to tighten the plastic bag so no warm air comes inside the bag. Wait for 1-2 hours, then you can watch
...Show more

Thanks! I have a Lowepro semi sealed backpack that I have used here under the rain and on the snow with no problems what so ever. I plan to take the cards out of the camera before going indoors so I can save the photos to the laptop and take a look right away. I plan to do the same with the bateries, so I can put them to charge right away too.

Thanks again guys!



Dec 16, 2011 at 10:31 AM
Breitling65
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


I would be very careful with non-weathersealed well cameras and lenses. Especially going in and out warm places and cold outside. I shot while -25C in Quebec with my 1DIII & 16-35LII and 24-70L, all survived fine.


Dec 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


I have used 5dii outside at -35 a lot and I have not given it the special care in putting it in bags and waiting. etc. And I have not had problems. I live in a cold place and don't have time for such special care. 5dii is tough enough that aside from short batterly performance, and frosting on the lens if I breath wrong. In theory 7d is better for sealing. I have not babied either of the cameras.


Dec 16, 2011 at 01:32 PM
ChrisHA
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


Cold weather shooting does have it's challenges. I've seen lots of camera failures (including my own with 1D series bodies) in my limited experience which is only 2 weeks a year in sub-zero temps. If you are shooting outdoors, I'd put gear inside of a dry bag or garbage bag before entering warm lodges or heated vehicles. Use heat warmers inside your pockets to keep batteries warm. Put rubber bumpers on your shutter button so that you can feel it with gloves on. I also recommend finding some zippered mitts to wear over your gloves which allows you to shoot with your trigger finger while keeping your hands and other fingers warm. For instance, I normally use Swany's Artic Mitts when photographing polar bear cubs.

http://www.snowshack.com/product_detail.asp?T1=SNW+SW-40256+XL&trk_src_ss=SNWFGS99WEBPAYPC&kw=%7Bkeyword%7D

The nice part is that you can slip your entire hand in/out when unpacking/packing gear, etc without removing the mitt (I cut the inner liner out because it gets in the way). Buy them in the largest size you can find so that there's room for hand warmers too.

If you haven't worn your boots yet, I'd get something with a higher rating or else bring insole warmers to be safe (ratings are always overstated).

I have some cold weather clothing and shooting tips on my blog as well. Scroll toward the bottom and look for the topic called: Baby, It's Cold Outside (Shooting in Minus 50 Temps for Wimps).

Chris
www.wildliferhythms.com
http://chrisprestegardtraveltipcentral.blogspot.com/


Edited on Dec 18, 2011 at 11:31 PM · View previous versions



Dec 17, 2011 at 09:40 PM
WarrenL
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Going to Greenland: super cold weather advice?


I used to do a lot of ski racing. The coldest temps I encountered were around -20.

I always made a habit of taking the memory cards out of the camera in the cold before packing the gear way. I would put the card in my pocket, and that way i could access it as soon as I was inside.



Dec 17, 2011 at 09:52 PM
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