1. Keeping Warm
Although this may be an obvious one, most people forget that their equipment needs to be kept warm too. Disposable hand warmers are our first port of call for keeping un-climatised cameras and lenses warm in sub-zero temperatures. Batteries should always be kept inside your jacket and in the warmth to maximise their efficiency.
2. Climatise Your Gear
Climatising your gear is critical when shooting in sub-zero temperatures, as it prevents condensation from gathering on your camera and lenses. To do this, we put our equipment into zip-lock sandwich bags with a silicon gel pack and leave them in the porch, boot or outside for 2-4 hours. The zip-lock bags means that any condensation will form on the outside of the bag and not your lens. The same step should be repeated when bringing equipment into the warmth.
3. Bring Batteries and Lots of Them
Expect your batteries to last half as long as they would normally. The cold is a real killer to electrical items and batteries are no exception. To maximise their efficiency, you should carry them inside your coat and store them in the warmth. The failsafe plan however is to just have power in numbers, stock up.
4. Plan, Plan and Plan
With a vast variety of apps ranging from weather to aurora trackers there is really no excuse for not planning a shoot, especially when it's going to be -25°C. When trying to capture the Northern Lights, planning is essential, as there are so many variables in play. Firstly we will check cloud coverage and have strangely found the APPLE WEATHER app to be the most accurate. We will then check out the AURORA FORECAST app to see the Northern Lights activity and if it is worth venturing out into the cold for hours on end or not. Despite all this, sometimes local knowledge plays a key role for finding those iconic spots and whether or not you'll have a chance of seeing the auroras, so ask around.
5. Good Ol' Fashioned Company
There's no denying that filming in cold weather is tough and pretty gruelling at times, so why not bring some friends to liven up the experience and boost morale? (we also suggest a portable speaker and some added beers too).