• What does it take to get good cold-weather photos? (Photo: Heida Simundsson)

With subzero temperatures being the norm for most Canadian winters, it’s important to protect yourself and your gear when preparing to shoot in the cold. Here are a few tips to consider before you leave the creature comforts of home.

1. Take care of your most important assets: your digits. A good pair of gloves will go a long way and can save your day, so they’re worth the investment. Be sure to buy a pair that is heavy enough to combat the cold, but doesn’t impede your dexterity too much. I personally like gloves with reinforced fingertips (my pointer finger and thumbs are always first to become threadbare) and there are some great options on the market with built-in touch screen technology. I also pack a pair of heavy duty mitts to throw on between shots.

2. On especially cool days, your body heat will help your batteries maintain their charge. Keep any spares in your jacket or pants pocket (the closer to your body, the better). Two batteries are always better than one.

3. Protect your investment using plastic bags. It will minimize the impact of bringing your gear out of the cold into warmer areas such as into a shelter or lodge, where condensation can form inside your camera and lenses. Seal gear in a plastic bag before going inside and allow it to warm up to room temperature. If you will need access to your memory card or battery right away, be sure to remove them before going indoors, but try to avoid changing your camera lens while outside.

4. Your plastic bags double as rain covers, so it’s a good practice to pack a few.

5. Carry absorbent lens cloths to wick moisture away from foggy lenses and ensure a clear shot every time.