A Winter Photography Tip

Using a right angle viewer (Manuk photo)

When I returned home from Nepal a week ago, where it was actually surprisingly warm, I ran headlong into reality. Here in Maryland it was bitterly cold. I realized that winter is almost on us and it’s time for a photo tip for my fellow cold weather photographers.

As readers of my blog know, I spend a fair amount of time in cold climes in winter. I’m speaking of -40F places, like Canada’s spectacular Yukon Territory and Northwest Territory.

One of the most frustrating aspects of cold weather photography is fogging of the viewing screen and eyepiece caused by condensation from our breath. At -20 or -30 this is a real problem, because you can’t just use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the thick frost.

So, here’s my tip. When it gets really cold out, like the image here of me photographing the Quest dogsled race in Whitehorse, Yukon when it hit -20, I use a right angle viewer. Yes, it’s awkward, and yes it is a jerry-rigged solution. But when the action is fast and furious the rig puts enough distance between me and my screen to keep condensation off. In this case the rig did double duty, since I wanted to shoot from dog level on many of my shots.

Hope this helps. Remember to layer up and take along lots of extra batteries (and keep them close to your body).

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