The winter is coming. Actually, it's already here. Temperatures are dropping quickly and snow is falling, but we need to keep shooting and working. Here are few small (and cheap*) items that can help you survive the winter as a photographer, make your life easier and make the winter less annoying.
Probably the most important item on this list. When the temperatures drop and you need to shoot outside, there is nothing worse than having to work with freezing/frozen hands. Having hand warmers available can really save your day. Just keep few in your camera bag, and use when needed. It is great for hands, but of course can be used for feet warming, face unmelting or just in your pockets. Hand warmers are also great for keeping your camera or flash batteries alive, as cold temperatures can make them lose power quickly.
Single-use Hand Warmers
Single-use hand warmers will cost more in the long run, but they are easier to handle, they are warmer and last longer (~8-10 hours) than reusable hand warmers.
Reusable Hand Warmers
Reusable hand warmers are the more economic and green option. One hand warmer can be used over 100 times. But there are few less-cool things about them: Heat lasts around 20-30 minutes, the temperatures are good but not very hot like the single-use hand warmers, and they require more work to re-activate them (need to boil them in hot water for 10 minutes).
Gloves and photography are great enemies. With standard winter gloves it's hard to do anything functional like pressing buttons, moving wheels or using your phone. This is why as photographers we need a different kind of gloves. We need thin (but warm) gloves, that will allow you to control your camera as well as controlling your cellphone. In the past few years many companies started making special gloves that can be used with touchscreens - and these can be a great addition for your winter collection.
Another type of gloves that can fit your needs are the gloves with the tips cut, so you can reveal the tips of your fingers when needed:
It's freezing outside. Maybe it's raining, maybe it's snowing. It's probably also windy. Coming back from a long day of shooting, the last thing you want to do is to go out to the supermarket or to look for a restaurant around the neighborhood. I guarantee 'Seamless' is going to be your favorite app this winter. Just choose what you want to eat, and get it 20 minutes later directly to your door. No phone calls needed, no stepping outside. Bon Appetit!
Rain Covers / Camera Coats
If you take your camera outside during the winter, it's a good idea to get a rain cover for it. You can get one for very very cheap, and reuse it as much as you want. I bought one 4 years ago, it cost me maybe $15, and it's in my bag since. Anytime I have to shoot in the rain/snow, I take it out and use it. It's one of those products you should always have. After all, you don't want to have your cameras and lenses to get wet.
ha, I wish...
Ziploc bags are usually for food-related stuff.. like food. It seals whatever is inside and make sure nothing goes in, and nothing goes out. This is why we as photographers should always have few Ziplocs available in our bag. Shooting in the rain? have your memory cards in a Ziploc. Shooting in the snow? have your cables and batteries in a Ziploc. You can save so much equipment this way. Just get few different sizes and thank me later.
Have more product ideas for the winter? share them with us in the comments.