Winter Photography Tips

Winter photography is likely to be a love/hate relationship for landscape photographers. Winter is one of the finest seasons for getting out and shooting, but the logistics are considerably more difficult than in other seasons. The roads are slick, the paths are muddy, your camera gear doesn’t always function properly, and it may be very cold. Don’t allow these hurdles deter you from using your camera. Here are some pointers to help you succeed in the dead of winter.

Gear
When going out to photograph in the cold, gear is arguably the most crucial factor. It may seem apparent, but keeping oneself warm comes first. Cold fingers and toes will force you to return inside before you can even switch on your camera. Put on your thick boots and bundle up. I prefer to wear fingerless mitts on my hands. These enable me to control the camera while freeing up my fingertips. If bare fingers are too chilly, consider adding a pair of glove liners – preferably, ones that enable you to operate a touch screen.

Snowshoes or cross-country skis are quite useful for winter photography. These items will allow you to go farther and not be confined to plowed roads. I wear these Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes, which are fantastic for steeper slopes and icier terrain.

Camera Obstacles
Cold temperatures might also have an effect on the performance of your camera. Although you are unlikely to be at temperatures that might harm your camera, the cold may still have an effect on how things perform. Batteries drain significantly quicker in cold weather. Keep spare batteries near to your body in your jacket to keep them as warm as possible. When camping, store your batteries in your sleeping bag at night. A little additional effort to keep your batteries warm will assist to guarantee that they do not die prematurely.

Another consideration when dealing with drastic temperature variations is condensation. Bringing a cold camera into a warm building might result in condensation on the lens/camera. Allowing for a more gradual temperature shift will assist reduce condensation on your camera.

Winter Planning

The greatest winter images are shot immediately after a blizzard, when the snow is new, untouched, and plentiful. Even in freezing regions, snow may start falling from trees or melting off south-facing hills within days after a storm. The finest time to go out photography is just as a storm is breaking up and clearing away. It takes a little forethought and a little luck to pull this off. Keep an eye on the weather, and if possible, attempt to time your visit to coincide with the clearing of a weather system. To forecast storms, I like the Wunderground weather app.

Nothing is more aggravating than discovering a wonderful winter landscape that has already been extensively researched. To avoid footprints in your images of new snow, set up your shots ahead of time. Take cautious where you step, otherwise you may find yourself turning around to view the ideal photo, only to discover it has your footprints in it. Make a plan for the photos you want to shoot and the sequence in which you want to take them.

Snow Photography
Snow photography can be both gratifying and hard, and, like other subjects, it presents both technical and artistic problems.

Getting the right exposure is the most difficult technical issue when shooting snow. Photos of snow are often gloomy and underexposed. This is because the camera’s light meter believes that the snow should be exposed for middle gray. The tonal midway between black and white is middle gray, and it serves as the foundation for your camera’s light meter. In most cases, middle gray (or the mid tones) is a decent place to start when determining exposure.

The issue with winter pictures is that snow is quite bright, and your camera believes that the exposure should be adjusted to transform those brilliant tones into mid-tones. This can readily prevented by overexposing your photographs by a stop or two. You want the snow to be dazzling and white, but you don’t want to overexpose and lose detail. Keep a watch on your histogram to ensure that the exposure and any other information is correctly captured.

Similarly, while shooting snow, it might be difficult to get the proper white balance. Snow, particularly snow in the shadow, has a very blue appearance. While a little blue in the shadows looks natural and gives your photo a “cool” vibe, too much may be artificial and distracting. Always shoot in RAW so that you may alter the white balance in post-production.

Snow photography has artistic problems as well. Snow can simplify landscapes, making a strong composition even more vital. Make use of the starkness of snow to create photographs with striking contrast. Snow and ice may be the primary topic or an accent to a bigger picture, but the same factors that produce any successful photograph (light, composition, subject) must be present.

Above all, have fun and keep warm out there!