Winter photography can often be the best kind of photography. Those idyllic winter landscapes, white snow that’s up to the knees, blanketing forests and city streets alike, are all examples of amazing shots we’ve all seen plastered around galleries. Some of us might even be experiencing some of that snowy weather right now.
But snow photography means an extra challenge for your camera, and your photography skills. Winter landscape photography is not just landscape photography with some snow. Below are some great tips for making the most of your snowy shoots!
Don’t Let the Weather Stop You
When the adverse weather hits, most people run inside. The only reason you should run inside, is to get your camera. And maybe a coat or umbrella. This is your time to shine. Snow is easier and much nicer to photograph in than rain. You’ll need less protection while capturing snow photography. This helps keep your motivation high. As more people run inside, less people are outside photographing. But how else are you going to get those atmospheric shots of people dealing with the weather? You can’t do it from inside your home.
Look for people huddled up under awnings or bus stops – anything with a cover really. Or people struggling down the streets holding umbrellas. Adding a human element to your images will help you tell a story. We can’t tell how cold it is by looking at a photograph, but we can when we see someone hiding inside their coat.
Do It in the Morning!
With snow photography, you need to be fast. Get up early and get outside. Actually, the earlier the better, as it’s much colder in the mornings rather than midday. You’ll notice that big yellow ball in the sky throws light all over our blue planet. While it does this, the light heats up everything that it touches. As soon as the light hits the snow, it will start to melt.
The bigger areas of snow will be less affected than smaller areas. This is because of a collective temperature. It will take longer to melt the snow blanket on the ground. The smaller details, such as icicles and snowflakes, will disappear fast. Aim for the smaller details first, and the bigger ones later.
Contrast, Contrast, Contrast
For snow photography, you’ll find it difficult to focus. This is down to the weather conditions of winter. The cold temperature can create a mist or fog, especially in the early morning or late night. This is something that will soften the lines you would usually focus on. Also, trying to capture scenes where the colour white is predominant will make it difficult to focus.
Make sure you use the combination of live view mode and manual focus. Take a few shots, and double check the image before you move. Zoom into the preview to check for focusing issues.
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