My biggest concern during our 2.5-day winter trip to Iceland was the weather and its effects on my photography equipment and experience. I’ve gone to the Swiss Alps with my Fujifilm XT20 camera, but other than being cold, it was dry and sunny. Iceland was a different story. It was cold, wet, and gloomy the entire time we were in Iceland.
The new Fujifilm XT3 camera was released about a month before my trip. Like its predecessor, the XT2, it promised a weather-resistant camera body. When it was first released, I debated whether or not to purchase it right away, especially because it was going to be an expensive investment. However, I went for it a couple weeks before our trip because of my growing concerns about Iceland’s weather and because I wanted to make sure that the weather wouldn’t hinder me from photographing the places we were about to visit. Fortunately, I already had weather resistant, lightweight prime lenses (Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 and 35mm f2), so I didn’t have to buy or rent lenses on top of my already expensive camera body purchase.
To protect my camera and lenses, I also brought my Matador Camera Base Layer with built-in rain cover and my Matador Lens Base Layer. Since I only switched lenses inside the camper van we rented from Happy Campers (to ensure a dry space), I kept my extra lens and the Lens Base Layer inside our van. I also clipped a small quick-dry towel onto my bra strap for easy access and kept it protected underneath my layers of parka and additional clothing. I used the towel to quickly wipe down my camera body and lens body (not the glass–I have different wipes for the glass) as soon as I could. Despite them being weather resistant, I didn’t want the moisture to hang around, especially when I stored them in the Matador base layers.
At night inside the van, I thoroughly wiped down my camera and kept it with the lens attached inside a resealable sandwich bag containing moisture-absorbing silica gel packets. I took out the Promaster Rugged memory cards (advertised to be “world proof”) and battery and kept the doors open while inside the bag. (I learned this from one of the helpful employees at National Camera Exchange, which is my local camera store.)
I also had to protect myself to make sure I was ready for any photography opportunities. Luckily, I live in Minnesota and understand how important layers are in the winter because it could be cold and wet outdoors while hot and dry indoors (even just inside the camper van).
My main outer layer was the weather-resistant Eddie Bauer parka. Even in the cold rain, it kept me warm and dry underneath it. My other top layers were a lightweight sweater and a moisture-wicking sleeved shirt. For my bottoms, I wore thick leggings most of the time, but also brought a pair of cargo pants in case I needed another layer. I also had my Love Your Melon beanie, a thick scarf, Sorel calf-high waterproof winter boots, and weather-resistant Burton Gore-Tex waterproof mittens that came with a pair of thin liner gloves.
Keeping my photography equipment and myself protected ensured that I would be able to enjoy my trip and gave me the peace of mind I needed to capture the photos I wanted to capture without endangering my gear.