Frost Bites

February 4, 2018

I have been working on a small video for the Grove Nature Center in Glenview and have been using it as a laboratory for my new Sony FS7 camera.  I decided it would be fun to complete a montage for all 4 seasons at the nature preserve.  I started late last spring and it has been going great. This winter has been more of a challenge. First, there hasn’t been much snow and there have been prolonged periods of below zero temperatures.  Now, I am an outdoor kind of person. I love winter camping, but there is a problem when you try to shoot video in the cold.  At some point you have to have your hands exposed to the cold…and the equipment itself becomes cold.  I have been experimenting with various layers of clothing and I think I have it down to a snow suit, boots, dual layer pants and a nice hoodie.  My hands, however, are a mess.  My goal has been to outlast the camera’s battery and so far, I have been successful, but today the battery beat me.  I do wear two layers of gloves, a big mitt and a small, form fitting fingered glove. Still, there are too many times when you have to put your cold hands on that cold lens or tripod to shoot.  There is a reason they call it frost bite!  After a while, that is exactly what it feels like. You can go a long time outside before you realize that your hands are really cold.  For me, I realize I hit the pain threshold on the long ride home with my hands tucked under my arm pits as I try to normalize the circulation.  Not to give up, I do have a few more tricks to try, like surgical gloves to create a vapor layer, and maybe even hand warmers. Makes you wonder how people ever worked with small hand tools, like pliers or screw drivers outside during the winter? It has been a fun challenge. The footage, more importantly looks terrific.  Just wish I could shoot from inside a warm building sometimes.  I have no picture to add to this story since it has been too cold to lure anyone else along!  I need along selfie stick!