My Tiny Hand Is ...NOT Frozen!
Skies have cleared this week here in the North East, and temperatures have also plummeted. So it’s been a chilly business trying to photograph the northern lightsat night and film aerial footage of Hadrian’s Wall at dawn
But it’s meant I’ve had a chance to really test out another small bit of kit that makes a big difference, and makes my life as a photographer that extra bit happier – decent gloves.
It feels like I’ve been in search of the perfect pair of photography gloves forever. Besides finding the perfect photography bag (more about that in a future blog) this has been one of my most unrewarding quests. Nothing I tried seemed to really meet my needs, but I think I’ve cracked it and have found a pair I’m happy with.
So what does the perfect glove have to achieve? In my book just 2 things: warmth throughout all of my hand and fingers, and still being able to operate the camera.
Fingerless gloves fall down at the warmth hurdle – in temperatures below 0C my fingertips alternate between numb and searing pain. This means they’re also fumbly on the camera controls and unreliable at gripping my most expensive bits of kit….not good!
Full finger gloves do keep all parts of my hand toasty warm, but are useless for operating the wee fiddly controls on the camera, so I end up taking them off in frustration, stuffing them back in my bag, and freezing anyway.
But these ingenious gloves have brought together the two ideas beautifully: they are Thinsulate thermally lined, have a water and wind resistant back, and there is full finger coverage on the outer three digits. Meanwhile the thumb and forefinger have cunningly designed flip back tips so you have perfect control of the camera settings when you need it, and warm coverage when you don’t . And to stop the tips flapping about distractingly when they’re folded back, they have tiny built in magnets to secure them to the rest of the glove with a very satisfying snap – genius! Another plus is that they have decent grip on the inner fingers and palm too, so can also be used for driving.
Photos courtesy of manufacturer
There are various makes on the market at a range of prices - the model I have is sold by Easy Off Gloves on Amazon for £17.99. Sizes tend to come up small, so I’m a medium even though I have small hands. I’d advise opting for a size larger than normal, especially if you have long fingers. Here is a link http://ow.ly/XoehH
I tested these gloves out in -3C this week and had no issues with cold even after a couple of hours. The flip back tips miss out on the thermal lining that the rest of the glove benefits from, but it didn’t matter to me at this sort of temperature. However for my upcoming trips to Iceland and Svalbard I’ll wear silk liner gloves inside them for extra warmth – they are super warm, but thin enough to still let me fiddle with the camera settings when the fingertips on the main gloves are secured back. It’s a slight compromise but an optimum combination.
At last it feels like I’ve reached the Holy Grail of warm hands and complete control of the camera. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!
Warmth: 7/10 – good – and silk liners make them a 9
Camera Control: 9/10 – fantastic – with silk liners 8 – there’s always a slight compromise
Happiness Points: 9/10 – cold hands and not being able to easily access camera settings have made me rather grumpy in the past!
Many thanks to Charlotte who gave me these gloves as a great birthday gift J
As always, I'm not recommending these gloves over other makes available - just letting you know my experience of these ones.
UPDATE! The same manufacturer has brought out a new photographer glove with extra palm grip and a zip pocket for memory card - look good too, although I'm advised the sizing is much larger on these.