2015 – Tip #1

My first shots of the year, three of them really, were cut short by a cold battery.

My first shots of the year, three of them really, were cut short by a cold battery.

Anybody care to guess how many “tips” we can log before we welcome the new year in January 2016? If this past year is any measure of what to expect this new year, I wouldn’t estimate too high.  But, hopefully I can do better and not lose half a year.

So let’s get started with Tip #1:

My wife and I are enjoying a couple days in the wintry Adirondacks. We’ll probably be home before you finish reading this post.

By the time I got to the nature sculpted ice of Roaring Brook Falls, a matter of only minutes, the batteries in my shirt pocket had warmed to normal full strength.

By the time I got to the nature sculpted ice of Roaring Brook Falls, a matter of only minutes, the batteries in my shirt pocket had warmed to normal full strength.

We sure picked a doozy of a couple days to visit the north country. Temperatures when we got up this morning were somewhere around minus 16 degrees, depending on who you believe. But, the AccuWeather app on my cell phone said -16. Later in the day we were told that with the wind chill factored in, it was a bit colder atop Mt. Marcy. Would you believe -90 degrees? Either way, when we set out on the short trail to Roaring Brook Falls, we were prepared for cold.

One of the things I always advise winter photographers is to put their spare camera batteries in inside pockets to keep them warm and therefore fully charged. Unfortunately for me, I’d left my camera and spare batteries in the car all night, so they were starting out more than a little cold.

Just as I started to walk away from the car I remembered where the camera and the spare batteries had spent the night and I quickly moved the spares into a pocket beneath three layers of clothing, close to my chest. Good thing, too. After signing the register at the beginning of the trail I quickly meandered off the main trail

There was enough ice in the brook I was able to move in close...and my batteries still held their power.

There was enough ice in the brook I was able to move in close…and my batteries still held their power.

and down to the icy Roaring Brook for my first shots of the day, not to mention the new year. I wanted a low perspective, which is even harder to get to when you are layered-up so that you look like Michelin Man. Squatting and getting low enough to peer through the viewfinder becomes much more difficult than usual.

So, I was more than a little miffed at myself when, after only three clicks of the shutter, I discovered I had a dead battery on board. Taking off the gloves, zipping back the layers and retrieving a ever-so-slightly warmed battery isn’t easy at this point, but is certainly was required. Unfortunately, occurrence #1 of my spare battery saga wasn’t that long-lived either. The batteries hadn’t really had time to warm up.

That’s where Tip #1 for 2015 comes in. Always see to it that the battery in your camera(s) as well as your spares start out warm. In other words don’t leave then in the car overnight if you want to shoot first thing in the morning. Doesn’t take brain surgery to figure that one out, does it.

Only a half-hour later, as I began shooting at the base of the frozen Roaring Brook Falls I was able to replace my battery with one sufficiently warmed to last for the normally expected length of time.

CLICK ON ONE IMAGE FOR A MINI-SLIDESHOW OF TODAY’S IMAGES.