About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Heat 3 Smart Glove, Optimal Cold Weather Photography Glove ??


Mt Washington Summit, 20 Below

Tax Time Calls
Susan is going to kill me if I don't get my tax stuff organized. In an attempt to isolate and bring my photography business into order, this year I finally got it together to form "Partridge Brook
Reflections, LLC". It make sense to keep my photography
Nellie's Spot
income, expenses and liability separate from the family finances, but it adds a number of additional layers especially when tax time looms. So, within the limits of Nellie's sacred corner, I have all the invoices and receipts spread out on the couch. My usual approach is to find a couple of movies that I have been meaning to watch, and settle in to the task of separating income and expenses. It usually requires several hours, not to mention the several days that it takes to actually assume my position on that damn couch. Nell has been watching me, and won't claim her spot until she is sure that I have settled in.

All this means that I will have little time to do one of my rambling, overlong blogs. This week I'm actually going to try to do a mercifully short article. Although, as I say this, I realize that I have already gone too long.


The Heat 3
A couple of weeks ago I ended my article about winter gloves by discussing an interesting half finger mitten that, in its advertising, looked quit interesting. I was looking for input from anyone who had experience with the gloves, but I didn't expect a lot of feedback. Of course, I knew that I was already hooked. I bit the $200 ! bullet and ordered the gloves from outdoorphotogear.com.  I promised to provide my early impressions and here they are.



Franconia Blizzard

Features

 The gloves were as advertised, quite substantial and comfortable with good insulation and, so far they have met my expectations. The Heat 3 Gloves are similar to other half-finger mittens with the ends flipping back to expose the fingers. Unlike many similar gloves, the flaps have nicely protected zippers to enclose
the warmth. The zippers work well, but take a bit of practice to learn how to move them easily. The flaps are effectively kept out of the way with magnetic buttons on the back. When exposed, the fingers remain protected by attached glove liners which are thin
Glove Liners

and flexible enough to allow easy manipulation of the camera controls and have special material on the index fingers and thumbs to allow reasonable, although occasionally awkward, control of touch screens. As I mentioned previously, my freakishly short digits made it a bit more difficult to get the proper leverage to the ends, but it was nice that that I didn't have to take my gloves off every time I wanted to answer my iPhone.







Finger Straps
Finger Straps
Although it may seem a rather minor feature, for me, the most brilliant piece of engineering are the straps between the internal fingers, which make it much easier to remove the gloves without turning the liners inside out. The straps don't interfere with the fingers as I work the camera controls and they solve a problem that has driven me nuts for as long as I have been using glove liners.



Turning on the Heat

Hand Warmer Packet
For additional warmth the gloves have small, zipper enclosed pockets on the back of the flaps, designed to fit hand warming packets. Given the glove's design and insulation, this may be a bit of thermal overkill, except for the coldest weather, but I can imagine that this may be welcomed during those long hours shooting the night sky in winter. The glove's manufacture sells glove warmer packets, but the standard glove warmers, which are widely available, fit easily into the pouch.


Caveats

So far, I have been quite happy with the Heat 3 gloves, but I do

Lens Cloth
have a couple of minor criticisms. First the gloves are necessarily bulky and can make it awkward to find things in deep my pockets. This is somewhat ameliorated by the ability to place small items such as keys or a lens cloth in the pocket on the back of the gloves. I found the separate thumb flaps to be a bit awkward especially when I try to get the thumbs back inside. Once again much of this problem comes back to my stubby fingers, but most often I found it easier to keep the thumbs inside as I controlled the camera. The built-in glove liners
are a key feature, but I can't see any way for these to be washed separately from the leather gloves and I'm concerned that over time they could get a bit funky. Finally, the gloves come in a variety of colors including brown, gray and green, but in this country I was only able to find them sold in black. To reduce the chance that they would become lost in my glove drawer among all my other black gloves, I was hoping to get a more distinctive color.



Franconia Notch


Availability
The Heat 3 Smart Glove is available from a number of on-line vendors including Amazon and Outdoor Photo.Com, but sadly I wasn't able to find them in any brick and mortar stores. The gloves are sized through a measurement of palm diameter and I think that worked for me, but it would be nice to find a place where the gloves could be tried on.






 



My Early Impression
Although I have only used the Heat 3 Gloves for a couple of weeks, my overall early impression has been favorable. They seem to

Special Forces
combine many features to provide warmth and functionality for photographers, as well as for the Austrian Special Forces, for whom they were developed. Simpler, lighter and cheaper gloves will still work well for most conditions, but when the cold is severe and the exposure is long, the Heat 3 is a great solution. The final question is whether they are worth the $200 price tag, and this is a highly personal decision. The combination of a standard half-finger mitten with separate glove liners is a reasonable alternative for most conditions, but given my tendency toward cold hands, I think the Heat 3 is well worth the price. My only problem is figuring out how to avoid loosing them as they drop into the black hole of my glove drawer. 

Now, back to the couch, and all that damn paper - move over Nellie.


Icy Pasture

More on Winter Photography


Jeffrey Newcomer
Partridgebrookreflections.com

1 comment:

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