Winter does not have the lush colors of the scenery in summer and spring, nor does it have the majesty of the falling leaves in fall. But that hardly means winter has nothing to give. The winter scenery can turn up some of the most beautiful pictures you’ll ever click.
But it’s not difficult to see that winter photography is pretty hard. The conditions are drastic, making it hard to capture the full glory of nature. This is particularly true for areas that receive lots of snow. Your fingers will freeze so badly that it’ll be hard to hold the camera. Not to mention how fast the battery dies.
Still, we don’t want you to miss these glorious shots. So, we sat down and made a list of the top ten tips and tricks to take your winter photography to the next level. We’ll be offering good resources for photography amateurs and pros alike, so buckle up!
1. Dress According to the Weather
You might think, “Thanks for stating the obvious!” but this is important. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t be able to operate that camera. As such, you’ll probably set yourself up to lose the battle before it even starts.
So, do well to look at the forecast before you go out. Plus, invest in a good pair of gloves. Your goal is to keep your hands warm while still being able to operate the camera.
Look for thermal tactical gloves. These gloves tend to have a thinner fabric on the fingertips, while the palm has an enhanced grip. Keep hand warmers with you, and don’t touch the metal parts of the camera with your bare skin. That includes your nose.
2. Keep a Bunch of Extra Batteries
Your battery will drain a lot faster in the cold weather. Suppose you can typically take a hundred shots before your battery dies. In the winter, this battery will only last for about fifty shots.
The trick is to keep your camera as warm as possible. Shut off your camera and wrap it in something warm when you’re not using it. Additionally, you’ll need to keep extra batteries on hand. Keep these batteries warm so you can get the most out of them.
3. Use Waterproof Bags to Keep Your Equipment Dry
Soft flurries aren’t that big of a deal. But melting snow will get your camera wet. So if you’re shooting in such conditions, use a bag or cover to keep it dry. The moisture can wreck your equipment, so be extra careful.
Don’t breathe into the camera, or your lens will fog up. Speaking of fog, make sure there are no sudden temperature changes. If you’re planning on going indoors to warm yourself, put the camera in a bag first. Otherwise, the lens will fog up, and you’ll have to wait a bit before doing anything.
4. Invest in a UV Filter
Use different filters to raise your pictures’ quality. The most basic filter you can use is a UV filter. However, invest in a good one, or it’ll just worsen things.
UV filters block UV light and protect the front portion of your lens. Other lenses include skylight, circular polarizing, natural density, etc. You’ll choose between these filters depending on what you’re shooting.
5. Adjust the Exposure According to the Weather
Your camera doesn’t have the same quality of vision that you do. So if you take it out on a sunny, snowy day, it’ll go out of whack. The camera will tell you that your pictures are overexposed. If you listen to it, your pictures look dull and gray.
The trick is to crank up the exposure a bit so that your camera can catch the white snow. Try to bring out the right undertones to add a magical effect. While shooting snow, you should focus on blue undertones.
6. Get a Telephoto Lens for the Snowfall
What’s winter photography without a decent shot of the snowfall?
But snowfall is hard to capture. That’s the reason we strongly believe in getting the right telephoto lens. You should get something that has a 70mm or higher focal length.
Increase the shutter speed to get pictures of the snow as it falls. You’ll have to lower the shutter speed if you want to capture pictures with snow streaks. However, this technique is trickier, and you might have to use a filter.
7. Capture the Glorious Sunrises and Sunsets
Sunsets and sunrises are generally magical no matter the time of the year. However, the time before the sunrises, known as the “blue hour,” is truly astounding. During this time, you can get the most astonishing pictures of the landscape as it gives the snow a fairytale look.
The blue hour comes up twice daily – one hour after the sun sets and one hour before it rises. Get there just soon enough to set up your equipment. You can devote the rest of your time to getting the perfect shot.
8. Zoom In on Those Snowflakes
If you’re tired of shooting the landscape and people, zoom in to take detailed shots of the flakes and crystals. You’ll need a macro lens, but the results are worth any extra effort you might have to make. Look for snowflakes that are in clusters or hanging onto leaves. These are the most likely to retain their shape.
9. Not Everything Has to Be White
Snow tops the list of the most amazing things about winter. However, that doesn’t mean all your photos should be of the snow. Try introducing splashes of color with animate or inanimate objects. Alternatively, you can shoot a few photos indoors to capture the cozy feeling of a well-heated room.
10. Go Out in That Awful Weather
I know that sounds like terrible advice. But that terrible weather can give you some stunning clicks. This is the time when the clouds will have the most dramatic effects. That said, you still need to stay safe.
If you can’t manage to go into such conditions, keep an eye on the forecasts. Try to capture scenes after a fresh snowfall. Who knows? You might be able to capture something before everyone else ruins the canvas.
Winter photography may be challenging, and you may feel miserable in the cold, but the results are well worth the effort. Just be sure to keep your equipment secure and carry emergency supplies if you’re going far out.
Move carefully. You can’t take good photographs if you’re hurt somewhere. Make sure you dress according to the weather, and if you’re shooting after a fresh powder, move into the scene after shooting everything from afar.
You can’t return the scene to what it was after leaving your footsteps. Enjoy your foray into the cool weather, and share your clicks with us!