Bear Creek Photography NC | Batteries and the Cold

Batteries and the Cold

October 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


Melissa Southern


_MAS7652_HDR_MAS7652_HDRGreat Smoky Mountains National Park


You may or may not have noticed that the weather in the northern hemisphere is starting to change. We are officially experiencing fall, though on some days summer has made a comeback! I went from running the AC on Monday to the heat on Tuesday!


Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp air and the smell of the fallen leaves. I love campfires and s'mores. However, cold weather does bring some concerns for camera gear and other electronics. 



For the most part, your camera can handle the cold pretty well. There are always extreme conditions that could make a difference, but for the most part, your camera will do fine if you're shooting out in the cold. Your batteries, however, are another story. The cold "steals" the power from your batteries. To prevent this from happening to my spare batteries, I like to keep them in pockets close to my body heat. The interior pockets of winter jackets work pretty well. As far as the batteries in the camera, I try to keep my camera close to my body as well, even zipping it inside my jacket when I am not shooting. If it is cold out and your battery dies, try warming it up by rubbing it in your hands. Sometimes you can get a little more out of it once you warm it up. Take your camera gear and batteries inside with you if possible, especially if you will not be using them for several hours. Don't leave your gear in your car overnight, unless you're camping and the car is "inside." This helps save the batteries from the cold and your gear from theft. 




Also remember to wait for your camera and lenses to acclimate to the environment before you start shooting. Depending on the weather conditions (temperature and humidity), your gear can "fog up" which does not usually work well for photos. This happens when there is a big difference in temperature and humidity between the outside and the inside. I tend to see this more often moving from a cold place to a hot place, like from inside to outside in the summer, but it can happen going the other way. If you wear glasses, this happens when you open the oven to check your food. Yep, your glasses fog up instantly. The best way to deal with this is with patience. Just wait. Once your gear acclimates, the fog will go away.


Foothills Parkway PanFoothills Parkway PanGreat Smoky Mountains National Park autumn from the Foothills Parkway near Townsend, Tennesse looking towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


A similar problem can happen while out shooting at night. Dew can form on you and your gear while you are shooting. If you plan to do any night shooting, especially long exposures, check your lens frequently for dew. Kevin Adams has created a lens warming device to prevent this: Lens Muff. Though I have never tried one, Kevin is very experienced with night photography, and I have every confidence that it works.


To make this simple: if you are comfortable, your camera gear is comfortable. Keep your batteries warm and give everything time to adjust to the changing temperatures.


Happy Shooting!


Clingman's Dome PanClingman's Dome PanGreat Smoky Mountains National Park sunset from Clingman's Dome on the North Carolina - Tennesse border in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


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