Heading out after the latest snowfall, or for some night photography on a cold night?

This can easily turn into a miserable experience and a short trip if the photographer is not properly dressed to stay warm and comfortable.  I have learned from photographing aurora borealis at night between -10°C and -50°C, sometimes painfully with frozen fingertips!  I do not recommend touching the frozen metal head of your tripod with bare fingers to try to release your camera…


Dress appropriately and protect your extremities to best enjoy your photographic outing by following these 5 tips:

  1. Dress in layers – Best to avoid any cotton clothing as the first layer as it will retain moisture. Synthetic fabrics are preferred.
  1. Wear a breathable top layer – Ideally, the top layer is also a wind breaker and can repel humidity. It doesn’t take much wind to cool down one’s body temperature in very cold temperature.
  1. Protect your finger tips – Never have to expose your fingertips by wearing thin gloves. No need for fancy gloves, thin thermolite gloves available at your local work wearhouse will allow you to change settings on your camera. Wear them under thicker gloves or mittens.
  1. Keep your feet warm – Don’t wear boots that are too tight. Get boots that are 1 or 2 sizes bigger so you can add felt insoles and chemical warmers. Heated insoles are another great option.
  1. Cover your head and face – Tuque, scarf, balaclava, goggles… you name it. Whatever combination works best for you.