View Full Version : Advice for Winter Shooting-Banff NP

20-Nov-2007, 10:26
Just back from Zion, I'm now heading out to Banff NP on Saturday for a week of shooting (tagging this onto a conference). This will be my second big trip with LF, the first one to Zion went seamlessly concerning carry-on security and hand inspection of film (of course I have now jinxed myself). Just got 200 sheets back from Photo Craft Imaging and the results exceeded my expectations (for $1.40/sheet I was not sure what to expect). I hope to post some images and write an overview of what worked and what did not in Zion because there were a few issues which cropped up which I did not anticipate. Just don't have the time before this next trip....

Now on to Banff. My concern is shooting in winter conditions. Are there any issues using quick/ready loads or am I better to stick with film holders. Is static electricity an issue when drawing the dark slide? What about fogging the groundglass? I don't think holding my breath is an option. I'm using an Arca Swiss F-Field camera, so I would be interested in hearing from other Arca users how this camera performs in the cold (say -20 to -30 degrees centigrade).

Cheers in advance for any tips/tricks and advice cold weather imagers can pass along.


eric black
20-Nov-2007, 10:35
never had any problems with my Arca down to about -10 F. When fogging is a problem I have used a cheap scuba snorkel to breathe during focussing. I cant comment on the film holders, but have not had problems with Quickloads. I also make sure my meter has fresh batteries and is kept in a warm place to ensure accurate readings. the rest of the gear I try to store in my trunk so I dont have to worry about any moisture problems that can happen taking things back and forth between temperature extremes. Good luck

Ted Harris
20-Nov-2007, 10:38

Winter shooting just requires a bit more care and preparation. I use quick/readyloads all the time in below zero temperature with no problems. I do keep them in an inside pocket of my parka or a wool swanndri vest I wear inside the parka so that they are only exposed to bitter cold for a short period of time. As for fogging the groundglass there are many different solutions. A lot of folks use one of the antifreeze solutions you can put on car windows. I use either a focusing hood (ala what comes on a Toyo AII or a Technika) and a long loupe or I use a BTZS hood and keep the bottom largely open. Both work without a fogging problem.

evan clarke
20-Nov-2007, 10:40
Your Arca will work splendidly...EC

Robert Skeoch
20-Nov-2007, 13:23
I never would have thought of a snorkel. Great tip.

20-Nov-2007, 13:53
A snorkel! As if I don't get enough freakish looks already just using a view camera!

Seriously though, great suggestion. Just need to cut a port hole in the dark cloth.

Brian Ellis
20-Nov-2007, 17:37
With the BTZS "tube" I keep the bottom open, hold my breath, when I have to inhale and exhale I do so through the opening at the bottom. Works pretty well.

20-Nov-2007, 18:03
Is static electricity an issue when drawing the dark slide?

Not in my experience.

What about fogging the groundglass?

Yes, and the loupe and your glasses as well. In worst case you can fog the rear element of your lens as well which is a huge pain in the ass.

It hasn't been that cold yet (at least in Calgary) so you might get lucky. Not sure about the snow conditions as I haven't been out there recently.

Cheers in advance for any tips/tricks and advice cold weather imagers can pass along.

Gloves that let your fingers stay dexterous are a must. You might try thin leather ones, or warmer mitts with a velcro-flap to reveal naked fingers. Either of these can be had cheap in Calgary (not sure about Banff but I don't think "cheap" and "banff" go together unless you get off the main streets and look for the places where tourist industry workers shop).

Hans Berkhout
20-Nov-2007, 22:09
Just hold your breath while under the dark clothand take a brake for breathing when you need it. Your focusing loupe should be kept in eg shirt pocket or it will fog just when you need it: loupe should be relatively warm.
Cheap liner gloves will work fine, outdoor sports stores will carry them.
Your tripod may need skipole baskets, so as not to sink in snow esp during time exposures. I could loan you such a set-up.
It may be difficult to pull out or pull over due to snow piled up by snow plows, blocking the shoulder or the usual pull out sites.
Cold feet could be a problem; wear 2 pair of socks and or insulated boots. Consider gaiters.
If you think of using snow shoes make sure you set up your tripod in such a way that you can walk around it rather than having to step backwards while making adjustments to your front end.
A good site to practice your cold weather routine is along the Vermillion Lakes road, very close to town. Before sunrise or a bit before sunset.
Good luck.