Working in the cold – it’s about preparation!

Posted on February 8, 2012


Few days of quiet on the Blog front – just means that I’ve been busy doing ‘real’ work šŸ™‚

Thought to share with you a normal evenings worth of work and how to prepare for shooting outdoor sports when the temperature hits -6 degrees. I admit it, it doesn’t sound that cold, but when it comes to living in Britain.. anything close to freezing is considered colder than Siberia, and when an inch of snow falls to the ground..well that is almost like the end of the world..

But back to the ‘story’ – Tuesday evening I was photographing the English Championship football (or soccer) game between Birmingham City and Portsmouth – from weather reports I knew it was going to be a chilly evening, so to prepare for it all.. it was time to dress in layers. Trust me, sitting down for 2 1/2 hours and only moving your fingers, when it drops below freezing the wind is blowing.. it does get cold!

Here you see my equipment – most of it – for the evening. Three under-layers on top and bottom and then warm trousers/jacket to top it up. Two different pairs of gloves – one with no fingers, so I can control the settings on the camera better and the other one to keep my fingers warm. Two pairs of shoes, one for driving there and then a warmer pair for the game. Camera gear.. well, you see what’s there.. few 1D bodies.. long prime, standard 70-200 zoom.. 11-16mm zoom.. and then of course the camera/lens combination used to take this image. Memory cards, reader, MacBook Pro…and so on. It sometimes feels like preparing for a week long expedition when I venture out for a normal evening of work – and to imagine that this game in question only had me doing photos.. with basketball there is the added video equipment to consider as well..

But, all this preparation did come handy – with a boring game .. time just seemed to drag on and on, but I stayed warm. At the beginning we were just below freezing and as I got back to the car after the game.. temperature had tipped down to -6 degrees. Only my toes were slightly cold – other than that.. as cozy as could be šŸ™‚

Here is also a picture to show a normal working position at a game – picture taken during half-time. As a seat, it the camera case – which keeps me nice and low, so that people can still see over my big head. MacBook is resting on the camera bag, three cameras are positioned so that I can snap them all quickly, depending on the action on the pitch. Oh, and the bright blob in the sky UNFORTUNATELY is NOT a U.F.O.. but the moon…

So, all in all a decent evening of activity and also – stayed warm thanks to preparing well for the temperatures in question..

Posted in: Football, Photography