Tips for photographing in ice and snow conditions.

  1. Batteries will not last as long. Bring several spare charged batteries, expect less than half their normal life. Keep the spare batteries warm.
  2. Condensation occurs when you take a camera from a warm bag or within your parka, it will mist up. Slowly acclimatise it to the outside temperature before you shoot.
  3. Exposure in snow and ice does not work the way it normally works. Your camera measures the exposure of an area and attempts to bring it's density to a mid grey. So left alone, your camera will expose snow to be a grey, and any dark subject within the scene will be black without detail. You need to over expose the white snow by +1 to +2 stops to place it's exposure correctly. Shooting RAW will help adjust for this when your camera lets you down.
  4. Look for interesting subjects. Whilst the snowy enviroments are a total experience for you when you are there, they can be underwealming when looking at the prints, always shoot for interesting subjects and details.
  5. If the scene before you is amazing, perhaps a sunset or a great feature, spin around, it may be just as beautiful behind you. Also don't over shoot the one scene, move your body and get the picture from other angles.
  6. Take many camera cards instead of one big one. The old addage of 'keeping your eggs in one basket'. Also number those cards with a marker so you know what you have used.
This list came from some research I did before a meeting with the winner of the ANZANG - SAMuseum - Peregrine Travel - AtkinsTechnicolour trip to Antarctica. Jessica is off for an amazing adventure. We wish her and her husband bon voyage!
Paul Atkins.