Winter

Camera Protection by Brea Persing

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You’ve invested a lot of money into your camera equipment…regardless if it’s a smaller, starter camera or a full frame DSLR. The last thing you want to happen to any of your gear is breakage because of the elements.

A lot of cameras these days are water resistant, which is helpful. But if you have changeable lenses, there is still the possibility of getting water inside while you’re changing the lens or where it screws/clips in. I would always suggest changing lenses in a dry environment, or under a large umbrella so you lessen the chance of water getting in. Make sure to double check with your manufacturer to see if you camera is water resistant or not. Here’s the thing, if you drop it in a pool or a puddle of water, the water is going to get inside and the camera and is going to stop working. In some cases, you can let it fully air dry, with everything taken apart and it will work again. But not always. Even in those cases, I would suggest sending it off to be professionally cleaned.

If you’re taking your camera on a trip with you, say you’re a hiker, and want to save it from the dust and dirt, sand, possible rain, etc., I would suggest getting a Peak Design Camera Shell [https://www.peakdesign.com/collections/all/products/shell]. They come in all sizes to fit different sizes of cameras and lenses. This will protect your gear from the elements. It may keep your gear a litter warmer, but if you’re in subzero temperatures for a while, I would still do what I suggest next.

But what do you do if it’s really cold outside? Just like a soda can when you take it from a cold environment and put it into a warmer one, condensation happens. This could happen inside your camera if you’re not careful! So the best thing to do when it’s really cold outside and going inside is while you’re STILL OUTSIDE, take your memory card and battery out and place your camera and lenses in a sealed plastic bag. Personally, I use a 2 gallon Ziploc Freezer Bag. By doing this while you’re still outside, it makes it harder for the moisture in the inside air to get inside the bag, eliminating condensation. It will still take a while for you camera to warm up though, so give it time.

Now, if you’re only outside for a few minutes, you camera hasn’t cooled down enough to warrant this. However if you’re spending a few hours outside shooting in the cold, or just straight up really really cold weather, you should consider doing this.

However, I’ve had a situation before where it was really cold and raining outside. I protected my camera as much as I could, but not wanting the water on the camera to be trapped inside the bag as it was coming back to regular temperature, I went inside, took the camera apart (batteries out, lenses off, etc.), wiped everything down and let it warm up naturally. I then checked everything to make sure it was all dry before putting it back together and tested with a photo to make sure I didn’t need to do any extra cleaning.

*This post is NOT sponsored by Peak Design, I’m just an avid lover of their products and use a lot of them!

A Polar Vortex Hits the Midwest by Brea Persing

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Have you ever heard the expression, “Yes, when Hell freezes over!”? Well, it did. Hell, Michigan that is. We’re up here in Indiana, but Michigan isn’t really that far away.

The Polar Vortex was COLD! We're talking -46ºF windchill in northern Indiana on Wednesday, January 30. It was colder here than at the North Pole in Antarctica and nearly as cold as the top of Mount Everest! Schools and flights were cancelled, businesses were closed and the grocery stores were empty. There were even some areas that called a “State of Emergency” to keep people off the streets. Google “Michigan Lighthouse Freezes Over”. It was crazy.

There were some brave souls that still went to work beyond emergency personnel, but not many. Thank you to all of those that worked to keep us safe and warm…police officers, firemen, linemen, furnace guys, EMTs, and so many more. Our dogs, on the other hand, didn't care about how cold it was. They were outside playing and refused to come inside most of the time. They just laid in the snow and took in the sun and wind. They loved it! When we had our fireplace going, our one dog would just pant and begging to go back outside.

As I scrolled Facebook, while taking a break from working, I saw videos of families and business folk alike taking boiling water and throwing it up in the air to freeze instantly. It was pretty neat. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just check this video out on  youtube.com.

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As for me, I took my camera outside while my dad blew bubbles to see if they would freeze too. They did! And so did my glasses. I couldn't see a thing! It was fun though. The bubbles dropped to the ground pretty quickly, not floating in the air as long as they normally would, and they rolled over the snow, not “melting”. And because they landed so much quicker, it was harder to get good photos, especially with frosted up four eyes, but I did manage to get a few good ones.

It was definitely an experience and a good story to share with younger generations in the future, but I hope it doesn’t happen again in my lifetime.