Corporate ski tips # 2 - hero shots

Filming and photography on the towering peaks of the Alps can produce mighty results. The contrasts, views and action on offer can contrive to make an absolute amateur look like a camera pro.

Equally even a guru can come seriously unstuck in the unforgiving environment, with the cold the main culprit. The frigid alpine air can kill batteries and lenses in no time at all. If things go wrong with your camera or camcorder on the mountain when a hero or zero shot beckons it can be a mighty disappointing experience. Solutions are mainly simple - batteries, no matter how good hate the cold. On camcorders they are often exposed, on compact cameras they are usually internal but small and vulnerable and it is only on good SLR's that you can generally freeze them to near death and still get a shot. Lessen the time they are exposed to the cold - get them out at the right time and get them back out of the cold as soon as possible. Don't have the camera in an exposed pocket of shell jacket, bury them deep in a lower layer pocket and if you carry a spare battery then make sure that it is also buried deep away from the alpine air. If your camera has a battery meter then be smart and plan what you need to capture and when - bear in mind that as the unit gets colder then the battery life will tail off-badly, 19 minutes left really isn't! Trying to warm batteries to prolong life is a fruitless endeavour - if they go they are usually gone. And yet there are times to keep your camera gear out of the warm, for example when going into hot and humid mountain huts. Reviewing a shot or some film in a mountain hut can often mean the end of filming for the day as the seriously cold lens in a humid environment will fog in milliseconds and can stay stubbornly cloudy for an age. The best bet is to view the shots at the end of the day and if you do take cold camera gear into a humid hut then keep the unit buried deep in layers, ideally plastic barriers but in most cases bundled in clothing or other barriers in a backpack does the job. To be absolutely sure of no fogging then a camera left outside a mountain hut (ideally not exposed directly to the cold) is the safest option. Time is the only healer of a fogged lens - re-warm the unit slowly at room temperature in a low humidity environment - unfortunately they are rare on the mountain itself. Best bet is to avoid in the first place and remember - not even Photoshop has a preset correction for foggy lenses!

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