I live in Vancouver, Canada. Canada’s the second coldest country in the world after Mongolia.

Vancouver’s a city on the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean. It can get cold, by my standards. Today’s the high was -2°C, the low will be -7°C, that’s about 19°F to 28°F. The people in Thompson Manitoba, where today’s high is -40°C or -40°F, laugh at us. But it’s cold. When trying to take photos outside, without proper gloves, you can quickly get frostbite. Frostbite is when the end of your fingers freeze, they go black and if left long enough, they have to be cut off.

There are a couple of companies that make gloves for photographers and the cold, but I haven’t found them to work for me. So I have come up with my own solution, borrowed from people that have to work with their hand outside in the cold.

First you need to know, that in Vancouver, houses are very different from most other places in the world. Almost all houses are made of wood with wood frames and gyprock plasterboard. The house are build by carpenters, with wood, nails and hammers. They also work in the cold. They have gloves for working. They need to hold the nails before hammering them. They have thin gloves with the end of the thumb, index and middle fingers are cut off.

For me and other photographers, these thin gloves are not enough, they don’t keep warm, after 10 minutes my fingers freeze.

My Solution?

  1. Go to the hardware store, buy the carpenter/framing gloves. It’s around $20 in Vancouver.
  2. Get a good pair of mitts, with a GoreTex “skin” for the wind, cold and rain.

I wear both, the framing gloves and the mitts. I take off the right mitt to take my photos and when I’m done, I put back my mitt and try warm my fingers again.