Winter photography provides unique work, but navigating the season as a photographer can be tricky. Here are some tips that we know will help you this winter season!

  • Use Fast Shutter Speeds: Snowfall enhances any scene, but be sure to update your shutter speed to prevent any motion blur! 1/250 is the speed that we advise utilizing, or even quicker if the lighting permits. Selecting the right shutter speed is important in snow photography. To freeze the flakes, you need a quick shutter speed. More lines or streaks will form in your snowflakes the longer the shutter is left open. Which shutter speed to use depends on the amount of wind present as well.
  • Cold Batteries Deplete Fast: When you’re out in the snow, do your best to keep your batteries warm as cold batteries lose their charge quite quickly. Your body heat will keep the batteries warm enough if you simply put them in pockets inside your jacket or even the front pocket of your pants. Additionally, always bring extra batteries when you shoot, no matter what! The number of shots you can take in one charge can reduce significantly in cold weather, almost less than 50% to 70% than you are used to, even if you may be used to getting a few hundred shots out of one charge. By keeping your backup batteries warm, you may easily avoid the hassle of a dead battery in winter.
  • Increase The Exposure Compensation: You can easily capture the stark whiteness of your environment by boosting your composition’s exposure from +0.3EV to +0.7EV! To discover the proper composition exposure value, test your photographs a few times, and be sure to pay attention to how white the snow is. Occasionally, if the composition exposure is not increased enough, the snow may appear gray. To get the best exposure when using a spot meter, aim for the skin or the middle of a gray card. Simply go closer or use your lens to zoom in until the majority of your topic or the gray card fills the frame.
  • Save Your Equipment From Moisture: Guard your equipment! Dry powdered snow won’t harm your camera when you’re outside, but you should always wipe it off with a tiny towel, glove, or sleeve. Don’t use your hands, please! As the snow melts in your hands, there is a chance that water will seep into your camera. If you plan to take photos in any wet environment, including snow, your equipment has to be protected and insulated with a waterproof bag or case. Since most camera equipment is not naturally water-resistant, the second-best option is to keep it in a water-proof bag while traveling through wet places.
  • Keep Your Camera From Fogging Up: Shooting something in subzero conditions is difficult. Be aware of your camera when you’re ready to warm up in any nearby indoor location. If you simply dash inside with your camera, the moisture buildup will cause your lens to fog up right away. This will make you wait an unpleasant few minutes for the lens to defog and possibly miss out on getting a great shot. Before you enter any warm or cold environment, put your camera in a bag with a lens cover to prevent this.
  • Wear Gloves That Are Photo-Friendly: If you use standard gloves, their thickness will impede your ability to use all the dials and buttons. Many stores sell specialized photography gloves with thin heated cloth around the fingertips and a unique fabric on the palms for a firm grip.
  • Watch Out For Red Noses: A red nose and cheeks are to be expected when shooting in the winter, but thankfully an overly red nose is easily removed in Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom only requires a saturation adjustment when editing your photo. Sliders for the Orange Saturation and Red Saturation should both be moved slightly to the left (at -5 or -10), effectively taming your photo by reducing the red and orange saturation.
  • Taking Snowy Photos: Snowfall is one of the most beautiful subjects for photography. Consider purchasing a telephoto lens, anything with a focal length of 70mm or higher, to obtain the greatest shot. Use a lens that is 200mm or longer and shoot with a narrow aperture. Set your shutter speed as quickly as you can (1/400 of a second or faster). With such a depth of field, you’ll want to capture the appearance of larger snowflakes directly in front of the lens and beyond the focal point. It will look more mystical if there are enormous, somewhat blurred snowflakes in front and behind your subject.
  • Use A Snow Cover: Invest in a nice snow or rain cover if you are out and about during snowstorms. During picture shoots, it will keep your camera and lenses dry, reducing the possibility of moisture residue getting close to your camera’s electronic components. A snow cover can be purchased for as little as $6, but high-quality covers cost between $60 and $100. Even so, it’s a fantastic purchase that is considerably less expensive than camera repairs.
  • Clean Up Your Camera: Bring your camera indoors if it ever gets wet, then wrap it with a dry towel. Give it some time to rest. You run the danger of pushing the snow or water within the seams where the electronic components are if you try to wipe it off, which will effectively destroy your camera. Just place your camera in a towel and let it soak up all the wet for a little while. Here is how we recommend you maintain the cleanliness of your DSLR lenses: Remove as much debris as you can with an air blower and a soft-bristled brush. A microfiber cloth or cleaning wipe should be dipped in one or two drops of lens cleaning solution. To gently remove fingerprints, grease, smudges, dirt, and dust, wipe the lens in a circular motion from the edge toward the center.
  • Stay Warm: Being uncomfortable will end your winter photo shoot sooner than anything else. Prepare yourself for the weather and dress accordingly. Put on more clothing than you would ordinarily wear for a winter trek because you will likely be standing around for at least an hour. The most difficult task is keeping your hands warm. Winter photography gloves may work well when the temperature is close to freezing, but they will not keep your hands warm in below-zero conditions. Use gloves with a -30°C rating that are highly insulated. Maintaining your body heat is the absolute last step. It’s crucial to be equipped to withstand the wind and the cold when shooting outside because it can be difficult. Overdressing is never a terrible idea. If all else fails, you can always unzip your winter coat. Get ready for a fun day of outside shooting by donning gore-tex boots, thick gloves, and a cap. When shooting a client, ensure that your client is well and warm too, and keep talking to them to know if they are comfortable.
  • Focus On Your Subject Closely: You may have a higher chance of taking fantastic shots of your subject up close during the winter. An effective shot would be a half-body rather than a full-body one. An eye-level shot would be more effective than a half-body shot. The key here is to fill as much of the frame with your subject as you can. This will assist your camera in obtaining precise readings and may add more depth to your photos. If you don’t do this, you might only obtain the subject’s silhouettes.
  • The Perfect Location: Look for something distinctive that you know would create an interesting shapshot. All year long, evergreens and pine trees are stunning. A field that is all white with a splash of color would also be lovely. Scout the area and look out for striking buildings, trees, and lush winter greenery to add that wow factor. So feel free to experiment!
  • Play With Perspectives: You will come across a number of natural components when out in the snow that can be shot in various ways. This implies that you have lots of chances to consider perspective. For close-up photographs of snowflakes and frost, use a macro lens. Bend down and shoot from the ground! Winter scenes from higher vantage points can also be quite dramatic and stunning if you enjoy drone photography.
  • Navigate cloudy skies: One thing to keep in mind is that not every photograph needs to be sunny and picture-perfect. You may take images with extra drama by using gray skies. But think about employing filters if the overcast skies are making your pictures look dull. You may want to purchase a polarizing, neutral-density, or even graduated neutral-density filter to assist counteract the uninteresting scenery you see.
  • Action Photography Demands A Higher ISO: The decreased light levels during the winter months may make it difficult to get images of a fast moving snowflake, snowboarder or wildlife racing through a forest. To counter the darker environment, raise your ISO setting. Use a higher ISO to make up for the snowfall if you’re taking pictures while it falls.
  • Include Couples For Warmth: Engagement shots and other couple portraits are becoming more popular subjects for winter photography. This is due to how much atmosphere a little snow brings to the pictures. Additionally, snowy days are less common than warm, bright days in most nations. As a result, winter shots in locations covered in snow appear less manufactured. You can snap emotional pictures because of the contrast between the frigid weather and the happy expressions. Use the chilly weather to strengthen your relationship as a pair. These pictures show hugs, sharing coats, and holding hands while wearing gloves. To avoid frozen smiles, keep the photo shoots as brief as you can. Always plan ahead and have a couple of different positions in mind.
  • Look For Contrast: After a few days of severe snowfall, the entire area is white: white mountains, white lakes, and typically white skies. Finding a compositional focal point might be difficult when everything is white since nothing truly draws the eye. What do you do then? You search for contrast, whether it be tone contrast, whether that is a splash of darkness against the light snow, or color contrast, where you see a splash of red, blue, or green against the white breaking down the monotony.
  • Use The Blue Hour: Capture dreamy winter vistas at the best time of the day! The time just before sunrise and just after sunset, when the sun is below the horizon and the sky turns a stunning shade of blue, is known as the “blue hour.” There is still enough light for shooting, but nothing is directly lit. Beautiful and soft light is present. And it’s excellent for photographing winter landscapes. You see, the snow is given a storybook appearance by the gentle light. Additionally, if you incorporate house or street lights in your image, the composition will become even more enchanted.

While winter opens our eyes to beauty we don’t notice in the rest of the seasons, whether it is the snow-laden skeleton trees, the lone snowflake, or the frozen lake, it also brings with it its own unique set of challenges. Just like most seasons, no season is without challenges, but winter does have some more jagged edges than other seasons. However, we hope with these tips in your mind, you can capture the best of the season, while avoiding the worst of it!

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