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Some Tips for Abraham Lake Outing (and winter photography in general)…

Here is a list of some things I think are useful for our outing to Abraham Lake.  Knowing my memory it is not complete so what I hope is that members will join in the dialog with comments, additions and other thoughts as they see fit.  I have separated things into two lists:  Personal Items and Cold Weather Gear and Photography Specific Gear…
Personal Items and Cold Weather Gear
  • Layered Cold Weather Clothing
    • Gloves
    • Snow/Wind Pants
    • Balaclava
    • Good Boots (preferably waterproof)
    • Sweater/Fleece mid-layer
    • Merino Wool Base Layer (top and bottom)
  • Lip Balm to protect lips if it is particularly cold
  • Good Ice Grips – the chain ones with long spikes are better than the little rubber guys with short studs because they work well when there is snow and they grip ice much more securely.
  • Walking poles can be useful for balance on inclines and through snow.
  • Hand warmers and toe warmers.
  • Piece on foam or blanket to kneel, sit or lie on the ice.  Knee pads can also be handy.  Not much of a fashion statement but easier on the joints.
  • Insulated mug/cup/thermos to keep vital beverages warm.
  • Headlamp with extra batteries.
  • Extra gloves and socks in case what you are wearing gets wet.  A full set of clothes kept in a vehicle is highly recommended.  Nothing is worse for the creative processes than being cold out there.
  • High energy snacks – the cold weather depletes your energy faster than lying on the beach so a couple of granola bars or chocolate bars in the camera bag is a good idea.  No one wants to hang out with a hangry photographer.
  • Earplugs – in case anyone snores in your room at the hostel.
Camera Gear
  • Camera body and lenses
    • wide angle is particularly useful for this location
    • the fastest lens you have for nighttime shooting
  • Tripod
  • Remote Trigger
  • Memory Cards
  • Extra Batteries (battery life is much shorter in the cold) and charger
  • Laptop (if you want to download and process your images while away)
  • Filters if you like ‘em.  Neutral density and graduated filters are nice to balance sky and foreground and allow you to capture/blur cloud movement.  Polarizer good to reduce reflections and deepen blues – but watch out with lenses wider than 35mm (full frame) or 24mm (cropped sensor).
  • Comfortable camera bag/backpack that fits nicely over bulky winter gear.  We usually don’t have a long way to walk but you might want to have hands free while traversing the ice.
  • Silica Packs (Desicants) can be very useful in camera bags during cold weather as a way to prevent condensation on gear when going from cold to warm environments.

I encourage members to add to these thoughts by making comments below…

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