10 Tips For Winter Photography

It’s deep into winter in my part of the world; cold, gray, and snowy. I’ve taken the camera out several times to try and capture the season and I thought I would share some tips with you. Some of these I’ve learned from other photographers and some I’ve picked up on myself.

Oh, and here’s a couple of my winter photos too!

Female Downy Woodpecker
  1. Dress for the weather. I know it’s obvious but I just wanted to remind you that it’s cold out there and you don’t want frost bite or numb toes so bundle up! Layer on a couple pairs of warm socks, get out those heavy pants, layer on the sweater and coat, and most importantly keep that shutter finger warm inside your gloves when you’re not pressing the shutter.
  2. Watch your step! There’s slippery icy spots everywhere. A fall could mean a great deal of pain, and an expensive repair or even replacement bill if your camera hits the hard frozen ground.
  3. Batteries drain quickly in the cold so keep extras tucked away in an inside pocket under your coat.
  4. Plastics tend to get brittle in cold temperatures so don’t open those little doors unless you absolutely must [such as to change the batteries] and if you do need to open them do so with great caution!
  5. The use of a lens hood can help keep blowing and falling snow off the surface of your lens. [a protection filter is great here too]
  6. Getting gray looking snow in your photos? Try increasing your exposure +1 or +2 stops. All that white snow really messes with your camera’s metering system.
  7. Shoot early in the morning or later in the afternoon for better light. And normally I’d say shoot with the sun at your back but not for snow. If you want to show texture in the snow side lighting is your friend.
  8. When taking photos of people use a fill flash and get closer to the subject. This will help eliminate those shadows caused by the bright light reflecting off all that snow.
  9. Add some life to your photos by including a colorful object. That beautiful white scene will become more interesting with a splash of red, pink, orange, or any color. Even some dark black shadows will add a bit of interest.
  10. And one last important tip. Condensation is your camera’s enemy. When coming back indoors where it’s nice and warm immediately place your camera [with the lens still attached] inside the bag. You should have a few of those little silica gel packs in there to absorb moisture, just save them out of shoe boxes and anywhere else you find them. Leave your bag closed up for at least 30 minuets, an hour is even better. You want it to come up to temperature slowly and your padded bag will give it some insulation and allow it to do just that.

Man With Snow Blower

Got any more winter photography tips? Please feel free to share them in the comments; and keep warm out there!

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