Frozen Photographer Failures at 5 Below

Over the past few days the temperatures have dipped to -10F each night, but that has not stopped this photographer from practicing his craft. Unfortunately, the extreme cold temperatures are affecting my brain. Severe cold does not play nice with camera equipment. In addition, one needs to be careful when with wind added into the equation, the chill factors drop into the -20F to -25F range.

Thus, my frozen photographer failures over the past two days (and one success)

  1. While standing for over an hour on a remote forest trail to watch the John Beargrease sled dog race, I forgot to bring extra batteries. I did have extras but they were back in my car next to the trailhead. After one mushers went by, when the second and third teams approached, the dreaded “battery exhausted” message appeared on my camera display.
  2. This morning I found a Great Gray Owl 30 minutes before sunrise. I had been out since 3:45 am trying to capture an Aurora Borealis photographs. My plan was to photograph the Northern Lights and then head home for some sleep. Well, the Northern Lights did not shine, and while I had my head pointed down (i.e. eyes not on the owl) to make adjustments to my night photography gear in an attempt capture an image of the owl silhouetted against the pre-dawn orange sky, the bird flew off.  I invested another hour trying to relocated said bird, but failed. It would have been a great photograph! Did I mention my birding photography gear was at home in the kitchen?!

Thankfully, I did track down the dog sled teams after a quick drive to another trailhead which resulted in these images.


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