What to wear? What to wear?

Mom always said to wear clean underwear in case you were ever in a car accident. To this day, that wisdom stays with me. Underwear aside, there are other important considerations to take when dressing for landscape photography.

I’ve written about this before but I think it bears repeating. When shooting outdoors, dress to stay dry and warm.

You can’t see the frost in this photo but the grasses and leaves behind me were covered in it. It was -3 Celsius. Not cold by Alberta standards but cool enough that if you’re not dressed for it, you don’t want to be out for too long.

For the next hour and a half while I was shooting, if I hadn’t been prepared, I would have been in the Rav with the heater blowing trying to warm up and missing the best light of the day.

I usually shoot close to the ground which means I am often lying down.  I was crouched on some wet rocks a couple of meters from shore for this photo. The waterproof outer pants I was wearing not only kept me dry when kneeling but warm. Getting wet means getting cold.

Under the waterproof pants wear anything but jeans. Denim looks nice in photos but they wick up the slightest bit of moisture and before you know it, your jeans are wet up to your knees.

It isn’t winter yet but it was cool enough to be wearing a pair of light gloves. They were just heavy enough to keep the chill from my hands. These are also used as mitten liners in the winter when it gets godawful cold.

Half an hour later I found myself running along a creek, splashing through the shallow water to get to my next shooting spot. Sneakers or any kind of fabric shoes would have been soaked. A pair of waterproof, good quality hiking boots not only keep you dry but support your ankles on the slippery boulders.

A warm hoody with large pockets is next and if it’s windy or raining I usually wear a light waterproof and windproof shell.

That about does it for clothing. There is one more important tip I have for you.

I use a remote shutter release and have lost many over the past few years. You know the kind. They are about a half a meter long and plug into the side of your camera body. They always seemed to get caught in a twig or tall grass and before I knew it, I’d be searching for the lost release instead of taking pics.

I now use a piece of thick copper wire and loosely tie the release to my camera strap. If the release ever pulls out, which it has, it remains attached to the strap.

Happy shooting,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on September 27, 2010.

9 Responses to “What to wear? What to wear?”

  1. Excellent advice Dan and stunning image, so beautifully composed. The light on the peaks is just suberb – such perfect timing.

  2. Nice idea about attaching the release to the strap! I too have misplaced mine in the grass!

  3. @ Cindy, it’s easy to shoot low hanging fruit, like this. LOL
    @ James, that little trick has saved me a few dollars.

  4. Beautiful shot Dan! Love it. Good tip on the release! Since I use my camera exclusively on a tripod lately I took my strap off. But I can figure out an alternative to your tip and simply use the loops where the strap went to attach your safety device :)

  5. @ Oli, I still use the camera strap even though almost everything I shoot is with a tripod. The price of the releases has come down lots on eBay but it still sucks to lose one when you’re a few hundred meters from the vehicle. Even not losing them, they still seem to last only a few months before the switch stops working. I buy them half a dozen at a time. :)

    Looking forward to your pics from K-country.

  6. Dan, Ansel Adams may have been the master of the darkroom, but you are the master of the digital darkroom. Your work is right up there, if not equal, with Galen Rowell. A fantastic image. I also like reading your tips.

    Bob

  7. @ Bob, thank you. You are too kind. If anything comes from this blog, I hope it’s that those starting out in photography realize that they don’t need the most expensive camera equipment or pay for workshops and lessons that they don’t need.

    Each of us has a unique way of seeing the world. You, Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell all see it differently. There is no right or wrong way to see. That is what makes photography special to me. The same place can be experienced differently by each of us.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Dan

  8. Another fantastic shot, Dan. I spent a few days in Banff earlier this month.(my second visit actually).The photo opportunities in this area are limitless. Unfortunately, The weather didn’t cooperate most of the time, however, in this business, you have to take what you can get. Mother nature isn’t particular about who’s visiting.I do find, though, that shooting in misty weather can sometimes produce good results even at midday if you can get the occasional sunny break…the shadows are there and you don’t have to contend with the clear sky and brutal direct sunlight.

    I do enjoy your blog and the useful tips you provide.

    Spence

  9. @ Spence, you’re so right about the weather.

    It’s been terrible for photography the past few weeks. It’s the exact opposite of last fall where we had nothing but sunny skies and above average temperatures.

    Thank you for visiting.

    Dan

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