Recently we were specifically asked for a winter photography gear list.
It got us thinking that yes, there are certain travel photography gear items we pack for our outings based on the season and weather.
In this article we’ll talk about the equipment we use and recommend for taking pictures in the winter, based on our experiences with a wide range of camera gear over the years.
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WHERE SHOULD I BUY CAMERA EQUIPMENT?
We get asked this question often. There are two places where we buy our cameras, lenses and other accessories: B&H Photo and Amazon.
B&H Photo is our go-to company for buying the high quality cameras, tripods and lenses. They are a reputable company that’s been in business for over 45 years. Their customer service and knowledge about photography equipment gives us peace of mind when spending money on higher ticket items.
→ Check out Camera Equipment at B&H Photo
Amazon is where we buy most of our camera accessories like filters, memory cards, etc. The free two-day shipping is always a plus. We have bought cameras, lenses and tripods from Amazon with no problem as well. They are good about returns, but won’t be able to answer gear-specific questions.
→ Check out Photography Gear at Amazon
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR LISTS
- FREE DOWNLOAD: Camera Gear List
- Camera Gear Checklist for Travel Photography
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Spring Landscape Photography Gear
- Winter Photography Gear
Winter Photography Gear List
No matter what camera you have, inspect it before packing to make sure it’s functioning properly and has been cleaned.
Check to see the memory cards and a fully charged battery are inserted.
If you’re looking for a new camera, here’s a list of articles to help you as you research what’s best for you:
- Best Cameras for Landscape Photography
- Best Cameras for Beginners
- Best DSLR Cameras for Travel
- Best Compact Travel Cameras
- Best Camera for Hiking
These are the lenses we use for winter photography:
- Nikon 24-70 mm F2.8: This is our primary landscape lens that provides wide angle and telephoto shots.
- Nikon 70-200 mm F2.8: This is a general purpose lens we use for everything.
- Nikon 200-500 mm: A good wildlife lens when animals aren’t too far away, and it’s not too heavy for hiking.
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens – Our new favorite wildlife lens due to its small size and weight compared to the bigger 500mm lens!!
- Rokinon 24 mm F1.4: If you are interested in astrophotography, this is a wonderful lens to use.
We also use a lens warmer to protects the lens from freezing so the camera and lens function properly when it’s cold.
A good sturdy tripod is worth the investment. You’ll need a tripod when capturing long exposure photos..
We LOVE the carbon fiber Peak Design Travel Tripod because it’s so lightweight and compact for longer hikes!
There are many quality tripods of varying sizes and capacities. Evaluate your needs and spend the money to obtain a good quality tripod to meet those needs. It will definitely pay for itself in the quality of your images.
Do you research to find the best tripod for your needs and budget:
A good camera bag or backpack is the foundation of any photographer’s kit. A well-designed pack that fits and carries well when hiking and is equipped with pockets and organizing sections is a must.
We use the Lowepro 350 AW Backpack for smaller landscape excursions that will not require a lot of supplies or the use of large lenses.
The Lowepro Flipside 500 AW Backpack is good if you have larger 500-600mm lenses or multiple camera bodies and lenses to carry.
The Lowepro Pro Trekker 650 AW is a large capacity bag we use to transport our camera gear on the airplane or longer road trips that will require more lenses and supplies.
Finding the right camera bag or backpack will be a personal decision.
- DSLR Camera Bags and Backpacks
- Point and Shoot Camera Bags
- Camera Backpacks
- Messenger Camera Bags
- Sling Camera Bags
- Camera Bags and Backpacks for Women
A quick field cleaning is sometimes necessary to remove dust or water droplets on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor. A good camera cleaning kit should include
- lens pen
- cleaning fluid in a spray bottle
- air blower
- microfiber cleaning cloths
- soft brush
Extra Batteries and Media Cards
You will use the card over and over, so spending a bit more to get a better product, in the long term, will not cost you much more.
CARRY EXTRAS: You don’t want to miss any photographic opportunities due to forgetting to load a memory card or battery in your camera; draining a battery or filling a memory card (or two).
WINTER TIP: The chemical reactions inside the battery slow down in colder temperatures which is why they drain faster in winter. Carry one spare battery in a coat pocket. The closer to the body, the warmer it stays.
Read the Do’s and Don’ts of Memory Cards by Peta Pixel. They share simple tips to keep your memory cards and images safe now and in the future.
Circular Polarizer and Neutral Density filters are nice pieces of equipment to have, but pay the price for a name brand. You don’t put cheap glass in front of your expensive lens.
Circular Polarizers are great for bringing out the color and depth of your landscape shots.
Neutral Density Filters can be very helpful in obtaining a blurred motion with water scenes and when shooting in high light conditions.
We started out using Tiffen and Hoya filters, and had good success using them. BUT we became frustrated with the difficulty of using these filter systems and only got them out when we wanted long exposure shots.
Then we found the magnetic filter system by Kase, and my use of filters has been changed forever!
Portable External Hard Drive
Create a photo back-up process that you do at the end of EVERY PHOTO SHOOT. You don’t want to lose photos left in the camera if something corrupts the memory card.
Our image back-up system:
- IMMEDIATELY after a day of shooting, we download the photos to the main computer if home, or the laptop if we’re on the road.
- We also copy the photos to a portable external hard drive – we LOVE the Lacie because it’s so durable for travel! These are the back-up copies.
- We then save the photos to my cloud storage.
When traveling keep your laptop and portable hard drive in two separate places – if your laptop is locked in the hotel safe while you are out exploring, be sure to carry the portable hard drive with you as they are small and lightweight.
Winter photography may bring rain or snow so always carry a rain cover for your camera.
Also, check to see that your camera backpack has a rain cover as well.
Winter Clothing for Outdoor Photography
It’s important that you, the photographer, be warm, dry and comfortable so you’ll want to stay outside taking pictures no matter the weather or conditions.
Check out our winter clothing guide for outdoor photography. Wearing and packing layers is so important in the winter when it cold!
Here’s the list of all the “other” things we use and recommend: