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Tips & Tricks

Cold Weather Photography Tip | How To Protect Your Batteries From The Cold

By Hanssie on February 16th 2016

I’m not going to brag (okay, so really, I kinda am) for you East Coasters that love your seasons. I’m currently sitting in 80-degree weather, listening to the ocean waves crashing on the shore. There’s a slight breeze in the salty ocean air…well, you get the point.

My point is, this article won’t apply to those who don’t experience or shoot cold weather. For those that do, though, how do you protect your battery from the harsh elements of Old Man Winter?

25-digital-camera-frost-snow-bad-weather

When you shoot in the cold, the battery life deteriorates much faster than in temperate weather. And nothing is worse than braving the bitter cold only to find your batteries refuse to cooperate. In this following quick tip video from AdoramaTV, photographer David Bergman talks about how he protects his batteries and keep them functioning at optimal levels when he is out shooting.

David uses little inexpensive hand warmers you can keep in your pocket (I didn’t even know that was a thing). For all of his batteries, David just puts the mini Heating pad right on them. He also advises to keep your batteries and the hand warmer in your pocket and not in your camera bag/backpack. They will stay warm and cozy that way. If you only have one battery (or want to keep the battery that is currently in your camera warm), you can tape the hand warmer right onto the side of your camera.

If it’s too late and you’ve already frozen your camera and gear, check out Matt’s article on how to save and defrost your frozen camera. Otherwise, grab a few of these hand warmers and watch the video below.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    Cold places are nice for photography on rare occasion. Too much downside for everyday living, IMHO. Despite having lived in South Jersey most of my life, I will be going warmer one day. The snow xan be beautiful… the six hours of snowblowing to get my driveway clear last month, not so fun.

    Of course, for your gear, it’s mostly about temperature. Batteries work via a chemical process, and at some point, they basically shut down. Electronics, too, are temperature rated. Lots of consumer gear is rated 0C-40C, which follows the standard consumer temperature rating for components of 0-70C. In short if you have gear rated wider than that, you paid extra for higher spec parts. You can find you camera’s temperature rating in most full spec sheets.

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  2. Joseph Ford

    very good idea, but I also place the batteries inside next to the body. This way my body heat also keeps them warm.

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  3. norman tesch

    lol. I was expecting to see some snowy landscape. im up in upper Michigan when the sun is out and its 18 deg we think its a good day to get out. for me the key is don’t leave your bag in the car for a week at a time for them to loose all their juice. 18deg for 4 hrs doing 7 stop hdr multi row panos. no problem.

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    • Hanssie

      Um…to use Californians…this is cold :)

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    • Matthew Saville

      lol Norman, I feel you. I may live around the corner from Hanssie in sunny Southern California, but I just returned from a road trip through the Sierras in the dead of winter, and had a blast shooting in below-freezing temps for a few days. If it’s a snowy landscape you need, will this do the trick? http://www.slrlounge.com/recipes/snowy-pines-on-kit-carson-pass

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    • norman tesch

      here is a link to my site. there is a waterfall and couple with lake superior in the background. ..https://norman-tesch.squarespace.com/config#/|/#/landscape/..i would have to look through my external hard drive. I have some pics of the caves on lake superior a couple years ago. lake superior was frozen there enough to go out on the ice. it was first time in like 5 years

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