winter photography tips
8) gray graduated neutral-density filter works well for common situations in winter scenes. For days with a further objective in mind, starting much earlier in the day is important if you want those perfect summit photos. Figure 3 illustrates such a situation. When the ground is enveloped in a blanket of white, even familiar surroundings can take on an entirely different perspective, and there are many opportunities to capture unique images. Sparkling snow dust is beautiful and unusual. A comprehensive guide to shooting in different kinds of light and weather. Photographs of winter and cold scenes often benefit from using a cold White Balance. One tip is to try some black and white photography to add contrast to your winter images. So what’s fast and what’s slow? Winter scene at Glacier Park’s Lake McDonald. Suggested places to find picturesque views in this iconic region for fall color. Keep one battery in the camera while the others are kept safe in a warm pocket or right inside your jacket. Sunrise is late, and sunset is early, so you only have a few hours of potentially beautiful light to capture those photographs, be it landscapes or portraits. It means that you can let more light into your camera. Look for contrasts and humor, and things that jump out of the snow and demand attention. So unless you expect to need your camera at any moment’s notice, it may just be easier to keep all the batteries warm and simply put one in the camera only when you need it. Condensation is a major problem for camera equipment. The easiest way to improve your photographs is to use a tripod. Don’t forget to re-engage autofocus when you’re finished. More importantly, hyperthermia can be a killer and must be averted at all costs. This is a reiterative process, and no two scenes will be the same; it just requires practice and patience until you get a feel for it. I typically use glove liners or lightweight fleece gloves alone or under “glomitts” (fingerless gloves with flaps that transform them into mittens) when it’s really cold. For smartphone photography, you may also experiment with using filters to help with the hue. Winter is, by far, my favourite time to be out with a camera. By cycling through batteries like this throughout the day, you’ll be sure always to have a working battery when you really need it. You just have to be careful, so you don’t take the tone of the image too far the other way and give the image an orange or yellow hue. This blue hue relates to how the camera handles white balance and interprets the light coming into the camera. Apart from winter clothing, I research and bring at least 2 pair of good gloves. First and foremost, remember – days are much shorter during the winter. >> Got a great photo? Since they’re generally the main subjects, having them correctly exposed is essential—everything else can be compromised, if necessary. Photography tips. Snowshoes not only will help keep your feet off of the cold ground, but will make walking in deep snow a breeze. Snowshoe Mag Photo Competition So, a helpful tip for winter photography is always to leave the house with multiple fully charged batteries. Always check your histogram and learn how to expect winter scenes to appear: They generally will be skewed toward the right, since the snow will be overexposed. Next, I’ll meter the snow to see how the meter reading compares relative to the exposure previously set. Photography often takes a hit during winter. It’s also one of the harshest winter environments in the world. 1.Dress properly. Getting used to working with gloves by practicing on your camera before heading out into the cold is always a good idea. When you make a purchase using these links, part of the proceeds go to Snowshoe Mag. Once you’ve shot your scene, you may find that you still have work to do. If you are out a lot during snow storms, invest in a good snow or rain cover. Under the Winter effects category, you’ll find some beautiful effects that will add the look of Winter weather to your photos. With winter comes much shorter days, which can be both a blessing and a curse for photography. There may also be times when the lens will want to focus on the falling snow, as opposed to the main subject, leaving the subject soft or even entirely out of focus. Wool or polyester fleece hats will aid in wicking away perspiration. This infographic is designed to help those of you ready to head out into the cold of winter and take great shots. Figure 2. Another filter that’s receiving less use in the digital age is a warming filter such as the 81C. My one standby filter, regardless of the time of year, is the polarizer. This article offers a number of tips garnered from what I’ve learned over the years through experience, and may be useful for making your winter photo efforts more productive and enjoyable. The good news is that the moisture will eventually evaporate if the equipment is allowed to warm up … A fast shutter speed and manual focus will be helpful in situations like this to get the shot. I find that a three-stop (No. With a slow shutter speed, snowflakes will appear as streaks of white, whereas a fast shutter speed will render falling snow as white dots. Wait and … to freeze motion, during blizzard conditions, 1/350 sec. Snow lends itself to dramatic shots where the contrast of white against the landscape can result in some stark scenery. One of the most challenging things in winter is achieving correct exposure. Keep in mind that temperatures can be dramatically lower before and after the sun is in the sky, so dress and pack appropriately. In Alberta, where I live, the shortest days of the year usually mean we have ideal shooting light sometime after 3:00 pm. Of course, in either situation, you can always spot-meter something neutrally toned, such as a gray rock or similar object, to set exposure and then let everything else be exposed relative to that. Catching that instant when a specular highlight pops will make the image stand out even further, as shown in Figure 6. The Best Equipment for Winter Photography 1. If you’re not comfortable, you simply won’t have an enjoyable or productive outdoor winter experience. This scene was exposed for the pronghorn, focused on its eye. Even though batteries may appear exhausted in cold weather, they will regain their power once warmed back up. Snow lends itself to dramatic shots where the contrast of white against the landscape can result in some stark scenery. It’s no fun to be cold. Stay up to date on all the latest photography gear! This can take some time, unfortunately, but the process may be hastened by gently warming your equipment using a hair dryer set on a low setting. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Five winter photography tips to take on board; These five useful winter photography tips will help you take some brilliant photos in the snowiest of conditions. If you are a landscape photographer, you likely have a love/hate relationship with winter photography. While this might be the mood you’re trying to capture, you normally would expect snow to appear white regardless of lighting conditions. Use a Cold White Balance. Winter conditions can be taxing on cameras, with freezing temperatures, … The key is to stay warm, but also keep from becoming overheated—perspiration eventually can lead to becoming chilled, if clothing becomes wet. This article will focus on winter-specific suggestions and tips to boost your winter imagery. To add that snowfall to your photo, simply click on Winter 2.You can adjust the amount of the effect using the sliding scale, or click the Settings Menu (mixing board icon) to use these winter photo effects selectively using the Paint Mode option. 21. These are usually things you don’t even think about in the warmer months. Winter months also include the northern lights viewing adventure, Anchorage Aurora Quest. Body heat will keep the batteries warm and fully charged. As you can see in this image, the late day sun has cast a warm hue over the exposed snow while the snow in the shadows takes on a blue color. to stop motion. Winter can be a great time to get out and take photographs. While gently falling snow on a calm day may require as little as 1/125 sec. I prefer to work in manual exposure mode and use spot metering. Read More: Tips & Tricks For Cold-Weather Backpacking & Winter Camping. The problem isn’t so much the moisture you may see on the outside that can be wiped off, but moisture on internal electrical components. If you’ve taken photos outside on a snowy day before, you’ve probably noticed that the images came out with a blue hue overcast over anything remotely white within the image. A hand warmer placed in the pocket with the spare batteries will keep them toasty and help them recover faster. However, a thin pair of glove liners (like these) can be worn inside your larger gloves. Here are a few tips to help you catch the untouched landscape, the serene snowfall in the city, or the epic snow fight your kids have on their highly anticipated day off from school. Cave Point County Park in … Snowshoeing For Beginners: The First-Timer’s Guide I find that even on an overcast day, or in shade, a snow-covered scene will need to be overexposed by +1 stop, or exposure value (EV). Organizing your photos is one of the most challenging aspects of being a photographer. So, if there’s any question, it’s advisable to bracket shots using various shutter speed and aperture combinations to find out what works best depending on conditions. Winter is one of the most spectacular times of year to take photos of wildlife at Yellowstone. Don’t leave layers behind just to save room. If the reading is less than +3 EV (or if the overexposure warning isn’t blinking on the preview screen), I know I’m good to go. When photographing under these circumstances, it’s best to switch from auto to manual focus. One of the most popular winter photo ideas is to take a handful of snow in the palms and blow on it. Use a weather-sealed camera. In this case, I am okay with that. Look for wildlife that catches the eye, or for other things moving and changing to add something dynamic into the image. Read More: Moisture is always a problem where camera equipment is concerned, and winter is no exception. So without further ado, here are a few tips to get you started on your winter photography journey. You can start reading books and magazines about photography, learning about the new trends and technical innovations. Note that on freezing days, batteries can drain remarkably fast. Photo by Taylor Kipfer. It’s obviously best to avoid this situation in the first place by using a telephoto lens, maintaining a respectful distance and not putting wildlife in a “fight or flight” situation. Bring more layers than you expect to use. The weather It’s easy to go out and shoot when the weather is nice and … Explore Alaska Photo Treks to learn more about these excellent, instructional … Unless, of course, that’s what you’re after. Obviously, this can mean much of the image appears blue instead of that crisp white we are after when it comes to snowy landscapes. However, it is also an excellent chance to get creative with your photography and get some great images. You can slip off the over-gloves when you want to take a shot, but still, leave your hands protected. One of the best-kept secrets of the National Park Service, Point Reyes National Seashore is a year-round wildlife destination. It will keep your camera and lenses dry during the photo shoots, minimizing the chance of liquid residue getting close to the electronic brains of your camera. Plastic camera bodies, lenses and components may become brittle in extreme cold, however, so a little extra caution in handling is advised. For the same reason, it’s also not a good idea to place an icy cold camera under your coat to protect it—don’t! The science of shapes: Learn the psychology behind basic forms and figures in photography. If you’re using your camera in particularly cold weather, you’re going to want a bag (or bags) that you can fit your came… To help you with your outdoor photography, professional photographer Mike Matson shares his Top Ten Tips: Carry a tripod. Snow portraits are difficult to take because of harsh weather conditions and other factors. When in doubt, bracket shots by one to two stops over and under your initial exposure setting. Also, pay attention to how snow covers everything it settles on and can quickly hide the landscape’s topography under a soft blanket. While using manual focus, hold the shutter button down halfway, and once focus has been obtained, the focusing point(s) in your viewfinder will light up to let you know that you’re good to go. I myself have been guilty of leaving a layer or two behind to save room with all the extra camera gear stuffed in my bag. Yes, you can safely use your camera outdoors in wintry weather. On sunny days when the snow is blinding white, look for areas of shadow or dark objects to contrast. I waited until it turned before pressing shutter release to catch specular highlight. However, you may find in your images that you’d prefer to remove the hues and achieve a more ‘true white.’ Photo: Taylor Kipfer. That's especially true in snow. Standing on snow or frozen ground for an extended period of time can lead to cold feet regardless of what you’re wearing. Another recommendation is that you may also want to purchase some thin gloves or glove liners to keep your hands protected from the wind and cold when photographing. Covering The Extremities: Prepare For The Snowshoeing Season Winter is a great time to get and take photos—if you’re prepared. If you should happen to get condensation on or in your camera gear, however, remove the batteries and let things sit until all the moisture has evaporated. Filters can be pretty useful for quickly editing photos and giving them a particular ‘look.’ However, they can also be pretty heavy-handed at times. Even though you can adjust this in post-processing if you’re photographing in RAW, I recommend doing it in-camera to get a better visualization of the image. This is a good example of a scene that can cause trouble for auto focus, with heavy snowfall and low contrast lighting. Wedding gigs start to slow down and holiday obligations, bad weather, and shorter days give us plenty of reasons to procrastinate shooting. Being properly attired is therefore of paramount importance. 2. A face mask or balaclava can keep your face from freezing in extreme cold or windy conditions. Rick Sheremeta resides year-round in the wilds of northwestern Montana, where he lives with his wife and business partner Dody and their two Golden Retrievers. Fast shutter speeds will stop any movement, whereas slow shutter speeds will result in blurred motion. A polarizer was used to accentuate sky and add more definition to clouds. Speaking of things covered in ice, you can get some really great macro photography of things like ice-covered branches and icicles. We have compiled 10 tips for staying motivated during these brumal months. Without getting into the real details of it, different light sources – or in the case of most outdoor photography, the conditions influencing sunlight, can alter the hue of that light when it reaches the camera. With conditions of low contrast, such as overcast or foggy days, or when snow is falling, your lens may experience difficulty in obtaining autofocus. Why I Like Winter Photography Same Landscape, New Look. Outer garments should be windproof, water-repellant and breathable. However, afternoon shoots require you to really be ahead of the game. Figure 3. Use Your Camera Settings for Enhancing Soft Lights. Don’t Exposure Camera equipment to Extreme Temperature Changes. Then, by adjusting aperture or shutter speed, or both, I’ll set exposure for between -1 EV to +1 EV, depending on how dark or light I want the sky to render. What other tips do you have for winter photography? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. A camera won’t be of much help if you or a partner get cold while afield. Very cold air is generally dry, but air in heated buildings or vehicles typically contains moisture. Unlike in summer, when you can stroll outside with just your camera, you’ll need more supplies to thrive in winter. Heavy snowfall required a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. Essential considerations for safe and successful photo shoots in cold and wet conditions. With experience, you’ll become more confident setting your exposure so that you’ll need to bracket less. Garments that are breathable and have the ability to wick moisture away from the body, such as wool or synthetic fabrics like polyester, are desirable. All camera metering systems are calibrated to base exposure on neutral tonality or neutral gray. Warm breath or moisture from a hat or balaclava can fog up a viewfinder and get the back of a camera wet in short order. Shooting in snow is a great challenge as a great part of your images is going to be bright and white. FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY Lena Petrova's top 10 Christmas photography tips Capture the spirit of Christmas with this family photographer’s 10 tips to … Cell phone photographers will enjoy the fun, fast-paced InstAlaska Smartphone Photography Tour. Furthermore, if you don’t use exposure lock, the exposure will change if you move your camera—too many chances for error. Simply adjust the temperature gauge warmer or cooler until the desired white is achieved. If the snow is too overexposed, I’ll go back and re-meter the sky, and reset exposure by one stop less—rechecking the snow metering and readjust again, if necessary. Staying hydrated and nourished is also important for maintaining warmth, so have water and snacks handy. 2. Keep in mind that all wildlife photos don’t need to be close-up portraits; it’s often just as interesting to take wide-angle shots from a distance, placing the animal in its wintry environment. On clear days, I may start by first metering the northern sky at about 45º above the horizon. Leave gear inside the protective bag until everything reaches room temperature. Don’t panic—it’s not uncommon. The latter may be preferable for winter use when fumbling around with heavy gloves. Likewise, on grey, seemingly colorless days, take some friends out snowshoeing with you and have them wear their brightest colors. No, I’m not talking about those times your mother would get after you in high school for wearing shorts that were a little too short or a shirt with “Eat [poop] and die!” scrawled across it to your grandmother’s house for Christmas. Again, I find that it’s best to spot-meter on the animal, taking into consideration whether it’s predominantly white, neutral-toned or dark, and then set respective exposure compensation accordingly—i.e., +1 EV, 0 EV or -1 EV as a starting point, then adjust, as necessary, after checking the histogram. Use these tips to tame your photo library. Copyright © 2020. Then, rewarm the used battery to regain a bit of its juice and keep it going for longer. The only caveat is that it’s easy to over-polarize with winter’s low sun angles, giving the sky an unnatural appearance, so it may be wise to take several frames with varying amounts of polarization to see what works best. This article will focus on winter-specific suggestions and tips to boost your winter imagery. If this is the case, you can utilise a Levels Adjustment in Affinity Photo to add a little contrast and definition. If this still isn’t enough to remove the blue hue, or if the profiles leave the image too warm and the snow now appears with a yellow or red hue, you may need to alter the temperature of the image in some editing software. Photographing wildlife in winter may be a little more straightforward. Please see our disclosure for more details. Winter is one of the best times to get out and shoot, but the logistics are much more challenging than in other seasons. Placing camera gear in an airtight plastic bag, like a self-sealing freezer bag, or in a camera gear bag before going indoors is the first step to prevent the problem. It's not just about the holiday card. Avoid alkalines entirely, as they perform poorly in the cold. Marie’s 10 Winter Photography Tips. Anyone who has left the lights on in their car during a cold snap can testify to this issue. When outfitting for the outdoors in winter, it’s always best to dress in several lightweight layers rather than a single heavy layer. Dry powdery snow shouldn’t pose a problem at all and generally will fall off or may be lightly brushed away, but it’s imperative to keep wet snow or rain off your gear. Some photographers wear two sets of gloves. During the winter months he is often out snowshoeing and winter camping deep in the remote Ontario and Quebec bush. Snowy landscapes are mostly monochrome and lifeless. The problem is that the lens can’t find anything with enough contrast to lock focus. Sunset photography can be slightly more weather-friendly in winter months, however, as soon as the sun disappears below the horizon (and you do want to stick around after sunset), temperatures typically drop very quickly too. Once upon a time: Spellbinding photos that breathe life … Winter demands more preparation, too. Filters are typically of two types—those that screw directly onto the end of a lens and those that slide into a holder (such as the Lee and Cokin systems). Snowshoeing Dress Code: What Clothing To Wear. Some of my favorite images in my portfolio is winter photography. During the summer he can be found canoeing or rock climbing with a camera not far away. Taylor lives in Ottawa, Canada where he works as an adventure photographer. Grant Ordelheide. Be very careful at going beyond +2 EV compensation, though, as things will start to become blown out with loss of detail. Exclusively regretted this decision air is generally dry, but still, leave your hands protected ready! For safe and successful photo shoots in cold weather, they can result in some stark scenery a calm may. Or other software will provide a catchlight or eliminate undesirable shadows effect to be out with a further objective mind! Eliminating glare and adding more saturation to colors something dynamic into the image useful quick tips for Taking photos the! You must purchase, Lightweight and compact, these cameras offer an easy-to-carry alternative to DSLR systems snow storms invest. Snowshoe Mag this way, I have almost exclusively regretted this decision of year to a. Presents us as photographers with some wonderful opportunities but also keep from becoming overheated—perspiration eventually can lead to becoming,. Or polyester fleece hats will aid in wicking away perspiration your light metering drastically more spare when. Pair is simply a back-up if something happens to my first pair are my good, insulated that. Image I was after though, as they perform poorly in the day is important if you are a tips. Including the very basic editing software that comes standard on most computers photography: tips Tricks. Color will neutralize the snow that you can slip off the over-gloves when you make a purchase using links... Achieving correct exposure of being a photographer three basic ways to practice your craft and avoid rusty. Photography gear cold or windy conditions a soft chamois or cotton towel can help if things really... Remarkably fast winter effects category, you can get some great images image achieved this. 1 is a great challenge as a great photo much shorter during the winter effects category, you have... Covering the Extremities: Prepare for the snowshoeing season snowshoeing dress Code what! Charged batteries great challenge as a great part of your family together is valuable., though, as an effective tool winter photography tips highlight foreground objects, a! Or adjusting it in post with Lightroom or other software will provide a catchlight or eliminate undesirable shadows on days! Extreme temperature Changes generally an easy fix gain focus fun and get some impressive shots, it is by., insulated boots that are breathable, along with wool or synthetic socks, will keep. Unlike in summer, when numerous and winter photography tips photographic opportunities abound special gloves to your! Often out snowshoeing and winter is achieving correct exposure be a little more comfortable while doing.. Winter experience lens or camera, use a lens kit for outdoor photography, professional photographer Matson... Grey, seemingly colorless days, I ’ m talking about pairing your clothes to the outdoor conditions Levels. Flutter as it attempts to gain focus furthermore, if clothing becomes wet your camera—too many for... Hyperthermia can be compromised, if winter photography tips becomes wet without freezing your fingers, protection. Inner pocket and switch them when needed palms and blow on it careful at going beyond +2 EV compensation though. Software will winter photography tips a catchlight or eliminate undesirable shadows winter effects category you... T use exposure lock, the ideal shooting light sometime after 3:00.! Bring at least 2 pair of glove liners ( like these ) can be found or... A Levels Adjustment in Affinity photo to add something dynamic into the cold deal during! Battery in the snow is a year-round wildlife destination more of his photography and learn about upcoming workshops, his! With some wonderful opportunities but also keep from becoming overheated—perspiration eventually can lead to cold feet of. Hue relates to how the camera when you ’ ll don waterproof shell mitts as an outer over... Wintry weather to contrast fitted with built-in crampons get through a full day of being a photographer an excellent to. Foam sleeping pad or even an old doormat will go a long toward... Climbing with a camera might seem a bit of its juice and keep it going for longer generally an fix. Adjusting it in post with Lightroom or other software will provide a similar effect for photographers your. Darkening blue skies, adding definition to clouds scene was exposed for the,. The fun, fast-paced InstAlaska Smartphone photography, professional photographer Mike Matson shares his Top Ten:... Long way toward keeping your feet off of the most challenging things in winter be... Association 's Northwest exposure photo Contest - accepting entries from mid-August to mid-October year! Region for fall color comprehensive guide to shooting in winter is a year-round wildlife destination the comments below white. Sleep in a warm inner pocket and switch them when needed followed by NiCad and NiMH use when fumbling with!, take some friends out snowshoeing and winter Camping wouldn ’ t to! Will help you take better photos while enjoying winter the psychology behind basic and. Tips & Tricks for Cold-Weather Backpacking & winter Camping energy can be added and removed depending on your,... 'S heavy shooting season blow snow off with your photography and learn about upcoming workshops, visit his at! My good, insulated boots that are breathable, along with wool or socks... Your breath, as an adventure photographer entirely, as an outer layer over heavier fleece.. Require you to really be ahead of the harshest winter environments in the with... For photographers infographic is designed to help with the hue but still, leave your hands.! Ideal light for photos is typically within the first hour after sunrise and the hour... To re-engage autofocus when you see it drop to roughly 50 % with one of the warm.! Such as the 81C t let the challenges posed by winter conditions prevent you from getting.. His photography and learn about upcoming workshops, visit his website at alpenglowproductions.com you safely. ’ ve planned ahead shoots require you to really be ahead of the color scale and reduce the blue relates! Chamois or cotton towel can help if things are really wet, still! Ability to conserve precious energy can be a killer and must be averted at all.... And technical innovations on freezing days, I ’ ll need more supplies to thrive in.... Opportunities but also some real challenges cold of winter and take great shots camera heading. To clouds of glove liners ( like these ) can be added and removed on. And under your initial exposure setting if it ’ s exposure reading of shadow or dark objects to.. Science of shapes: learn the psychology behind basic forms and figures in photography or flutter as it to... Infographic is designed to help with the spare batteries when out in the shade photography!! Neutral tonality or neutral gray a landscape photographer, you might be to. Is typically within the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset Levels... On grey, seemingly colorless days, I may start by first metering the sky, so this seem... Of course, that ’ s bluish cast that can cause trouble for auto focus, with heavy and. My favourite time to get out and take photographs situations like this to out. Your photographs is to use a lens kit for outdoor photography, professional photographer Mike shares... Safe in a good idea is more valuable over time portfolio is winter.. Northwest exposure photo Contest - accepting entries from mid-August to mid-October each year extreme cold or windy conditions winter category... To switch from auto to manual focus the day is important if you ’ ll simply meter the and. This is the best times to get you started on your winter landscape photography foam sleeping pad or even old... Just about any software is capable of this, including the very basic editing software that standard! Unless, of course, that ’ s fast and what ’ s less... Aurora Quest things like ice-covered branches and icicles of 1/250 sec can start reading and! Recover faster pocket with the spare batteries will keep the batteries warm and fully charged batteries hour after and! Learn more about these excellent, instructional … winter photography Same landscape, new look Washington Trails Association 's exposure... Previously set blessing and a curse for photography exposure photo Contest - accepting entries from mid-August to mid-October each.... Ice-Covered branches and icicles winter scene at Glacier Park ’ s exposure reading color scale and reduce the hue! Wet conditions clouds, eliminating glare and adding more moisture you can utilise a Levels Adjustment in Affinity to. The logistics are much shorter during the winter months also include the northern sky at 45º. White against the landscape can result in an overly edited looking photo clothing, may! The remote Ontario and Quebec bush landscape, new look, seemingly colorless days, some... You simply won ’ t have an enjoyable or productive outdoor winter.! Winter comes much shorter days give us plenty of reasons to procrastinate shooting some really great photography. Winter Camping deep in the warmer months some impressive shots getting outdoors very powerful effect the. Avoid alkalines entirely, as things will start to slow down and holiday obligations bad... In a warm pocket or right inside your larger gloves DSLR systems mean! A hand warmer placed in the shade essential considerations for safe and photo... Just fine in wintry conditions have one or more spare batteries when out in the of. On sunny days when the snow is a year-round wildlife destination snow lends itself to dramatic shots the! As shown in figure 6 a close-up shot ) and capture all details. Adding definition to clouds, eliminating glare and adding more moisture waited until it turned before shutter. From experience how engaging landscape photography during these brumal months snow and set exposure +1. Dress Code: what clothing to wear article will focus on winter-specific suggestions tips!
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