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-   -   keep those fingers cold, but shooting (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16828)

JRMDC 12-26-2013 05:14 AM

keep those fingers cold, but shooting
I'm looking for recommendations for gloves that do a good job of managing the tradeoff between keeping fingers warm and allowing those same fingers to operate camera controls.

I've just seen some gloves online that open up at the fingertip to allow them to come out, set a control, then go back into hiding.

I am also reading about gloves that have special conductive material on the fingertips to allow for use of a touchscreen device.

Does every human activity lead to someone making high tech gear for it? :)

Freericks 12-26-2013 05:16 AM

No help - but man does your post remind me of railfanning in that winter of 1978 when it was so cold the snow didn't melt for something like three weeks. Camera froze up on me twice.

MassArt Images 12-26-2013 09:25 AM


Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 173493)
I'm looking for recommendations for gloves that do a good job of managing the tradeoff between keeping fingers warm and allowing those same fingers to operate camera controls.

This must have been keeping you awake seeing the time of your post!:shock:

Try this link:


Hatchetman 12-26-2013 02:49 PM

I use a pair of running gloves. If it is real cold I put another pair over the top and then when the action starts I slip the outer pair off. That method had to do with what I had on hand. Not sure what the ideal method is. I'm sure there is a ultra-expensive option out there.

JRMDC 12-26-2013 03:42 PM

Thanks, Carl. Hatch, I do have a pair of glove liners; I should try them more often. Still a pain to slip on and off.

These look interesting, and not THAT expensive:

And these, even less, albeit just fleece, no shell to fight off wind:

These expensive ones seem to be for the movie industry, the page refers to "on-set crew work":

In general I was not aware of gloves with flip-open finger tips; several manufacturers make them.


jac_murphy 12-26-2013 04:22 PM


You'll learn. :)


KevinM 12-26-2013 04:45 PM

Hi J,

I'm still struggling with the title of this thread.....why would I want to keep my fingers COLD? This time of year, I much prefer to keep them WARM!

All kidding aside, I am painfully familiar with this problem. All my life, I have done things outdoors (skiiing, running, preheating stone-cold airplane engines) in the winter, and unfortunately, the effects of all of that repeated exposure to extreme cold have been cumulative. I now have to wear gloves almost anytime I am going to be exposed to temperatures of 35F or lower for any length of time. That becomes a real problem when I visit places like Ely, Nevada every winter:


After a full day of freezing my butt off in the desert, I don't think I would have stuck around to shoot this if I didn't have a warm car nearby. My fingers were numb and my toes were close to numb....and I was wearing Sorel boots and heavy ski socks.

I have tried all manner of gloves. NONE of them work. Even the ones that are too thick to operate a camera are still not thick enough to protect my hands in a place like Ely.

My solution is HOT HANDS charcoal-based hand and toe warmers....the kind that skiers use. I have a pair of thin leather driving gloves with Thinsulate (TM) insulation that are nimble enough to allow me to operate all of the camera controls. Every morning, I rip open a set of those hand warmers and stuff one in the palm of each glove. I also put a toe warmer in each boot. Those do work and they last about 8 hours...perhaps a little more. In extreme cold, I can even pull my fingers into the body of the gloves and just clutch the hand warmer. I carry a gross of these things with me on all winter trips.

Don't waste your money on those photographer's mittens. The advantage of mittens (keeping warm flesh against flesh) is lost when there is insulation between each individual finger, and the advantage of gloves is lost because you can't do ANYTHING with your camera unless that flap is off.....and then your fingers are totally exposed. Find a pair of driving gloves that you can break in and learn to use with your camera. Then get yourself some HOT HANDs. You'll be much more functional and much more comfortable. :)

Freericks 12-26-2013 04:51 PM

I forgot about those warmers. We used to have them on the set back in my TV days shooting in Canada. They are really great.

JRMDC 12-26-2013 04:58 PM

Title blunders cannot be corrected. :(

Kevin, thanks for the hot hands tip. Those sound great! And it seems like they are pretty natural, one isn't holding a bunch of chemicals in one's glove and then throwing that away. Iron powder, activated charcoal, wood fiber, salt.

Jacques, thanks. Those look like a good stay warm glove in general, but I wonder about having to remove them for camera use.


jac_murphy 12-26-2013 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 173517)
Jacques, thanks. Those look like a good stay warm glove in general, but I wonder about having to remove them for camera use.

No need to thank me, J, I was being facetious. ;-)


MagnumForce 12-27-2013 02:51 AM

I like my wino gloves, available anywhere.


I get wool ones, they are cheap and quite cozy.

bigbassloyd 12-27-2013 03:01 AM

I use cheap thinsulate gloves with hot hands. Hot hands are great for keeping camera lenses clear on all night winter shooting, too.

Loyd L.

JimThias 12-27-2013 10:47 AM

The best thing to do is go to a sporting goods store and try on the gloves that feel the best for you. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Thus, I have no specific glove suggestions. It's trial and error when it comes to gloves.

However, I can suggest these if you can find them in your area:


trainboysd40 12-27-2013 07:00 PM

Hello, I'm Canada, and the best way to keep your hands warm is to keep the rest of you warm, too. I've been out in -25 when I overdressed and had to take off my gloves. Bundle yourself up, and then if you still get cold, you need to have a thin pair of gloves underneath a pair of mitts. Take off the mitts when you're shooting, put them back on after - and keep your camera inside of your outer coat so the battery won't die really quickly.

Ween 12-27-2013 07:21 PM

They issued us just standard wool glove liners to be used by themselves for Arctic Survival training (~48 hours living outside in interior Alaska in December...-20 to -30F the whole time). I thought it was a joke, but they worked really well:

I'm not a fan of wool though, so I use my winter weight nomex flight gloves:

You get Thinsulate insulation while keeping your dexterity. Probably not the best for when it's colder than -10F, but if you consider "around freezing" cold, then they'll work great...

JRMDC 12-27-2013 11:48 PM

Thanks, everyone. Good advice, Matt, re keeping the entire body warm.

Dennis A. Livesey 12-28-2013 03:28 AM

Great thread!

Holloran Grade 12-28-2013 06:49 AM

Might I Suggest.....
Save you're money and move to a warmer climate.

Even on the coldest of days, we don't have these problems.

Course the ice fishing sucks around here, but we get over it by watching the grass grow.

(I know, crazy huh? But it is true, the grass really does grow here in the Winter.):twisted:

MagnumForce 12-28-2013 08:07 AM

You are assuming we don't like the cold weather and change of seasons

Holloran Grade 12-28-2013 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by MagnumForce (Post 173562)
You are assuming we don't like the cold weather and change of seasons

Oh know, you'all like all that misery which is why there is still open space (some) where I choose to live.

Stay where you are, please don't come here.:twisted:

However, you're more than welcome to come here on vacation and spend all your hard earned cash on Disneyland and all that.

JimThias 12-28-2013 10:36 AM


Originally Posted by Holloran Grade (Post 173559)
Save you're money and move to a warmer climate.

Why, so we can be stuck with shooting boring wedgies in brown landscapes?


Hatchetman 12-28-2013 02:08 PM

The climate's fine in SoCal, just the people are whacko!:lol:

Missabefan 12-28-2013 11:23 PM

Dec 29

Partly Cloudy

Dec 30

Partly Cloudy

Dec 31

Mostly Sunny

To put this in perspective, remember when water freezes--+32 degrees.:shock:

This is the forecast I have to look forward too. And yes, these are some of the best conditions to shoot in. Clear and cold.

It doesn't matter what gloves ( or anything else for that matter) that you have/get. You just don't spent a lot of time outside. More of a surgical strike type thing. Get out/ get the shot/ get in.

Ween 12-29-2013 12:25 AM

It was -9F when I shot this:

And witnessed this:

So, yeah, I'll stick with Alaska over any place else!

MagnumForce 12-29-2013 01:24 AM

Here in Ohio I have shot trains at 107° and -20°, that range is what I love about the Midwest and Great Lakes.

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