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- Created on Saturday, 19 February 2011 09:25
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For most amateur and professional photographers alike, winter is the most difficult season for photography. The white snows and grey skies of winter make exposing a photograph correctly difficult. The weather can be hard on batteries, especially with today’s digital cameras. Above all, winters gloom and cold can make it hard to find inspiration to get outside with a camera. Don’t be discouraged, winter can provide some incredible photography opportunities!
Winter Photography Ideas:
Black and White Winter Photography
The bright whites and heavy blacks of winter lends itself to black and white photography nicely. Don’t fight with trying to get a good color photo if is not possible. You’ll be surprised how well some scenes that look crummy in color, look incredible in black & white. Most of today’s higher end cameras shoot only in color only. You convert the photograph to Black & White using image editing software. To help you get an idea of what the color photograph is going to look like in black and white, most cameras a live view option that can be set to monochrome. Make sure to use this option if your camera has it, as it can greatly help setting up your B&W shots.
A quick tip to help your Black/White photos is to remember that most good B&W pictures include at least some PURE Black and White. What I mean by this, is just don’t take shots consisting only grey scale elements, make sure to include the high contrast pure blacks and whites.
Fall and winter frost can unbelievably change both landscapes and objects. Take advantage of this to get some interesting photographs. Frost can melt quickly, so the best time to take these photographs is in the morning (the light at dawn also helps achieve great photos).
Frost also offers opportunities for interesting macro photography, so make sure you keep a close eye on the smaller objects around you. If you have a lens that lets you focus on the micro side of things, you may even what to try taking pictures of the ice crystals themselves.
Winter Storm Photography
There’s no need to hide inside during a winter storm (as long as it’s not a bad one). Buy a rain cover to keep the weather off your camera and head out for a walk or hike. You can get some nice almost sepia looking effects when shooting in snowy or foggy weather.
Winter Macro Photography
On those days when the clouds are thick and low, making any sort of landscape photography looks bland, try shooting macro. Clouds naturally defuse the suns light, perfect for macro work. White snow makes a nice back drop for darker objects
Winter Plant Photography
A few plants and all evergreen trees keep their colors through winter. Seek these out and play with using color to make them stand out on the winter back drop.
Winter Night Photography
Clear winter night after a fresh snow might be extra cold, but they also can let your produce night landscape photos that you can’t take any other time of the year. Snow reflects light, even the low amounts of light available at night. This lets you clearly expose any surfaces covered by snow by using a long exposure time.
Winter Photography Tips
1.) Open up. Heavy snow scenes can cause you camera to meter too dark. Open your camera up 1-2 stops (+1 or +2 EV) to correctly expose images.
2.) Keep your camera at outside temperatures. You may be tempted place your camera in your jacket or inside you warm car while it’s not in use. This will only cause condensation on the lens and mirror when you take it back into the cold. In real humid climates, it could cause heavy condensation internally which could damage your camera. Most cameras will operate under all but the most extreme winter temperatures just fine.
3.) Take your batteries out. Batteries don’t like cold weather and will quickly stop producing a charge when exposed freezing tempartures. Simply take you batteries out and place them in your pocket, when your camera is not in use. If you need to quickly warm-up your batteries, place them inside your jacket and under your arm-pits … it may sound silly, but your body concentrates a lot of heat in that area.
4.) Hold your breath … when you mouth is close to your camera. Breathing on your camera will cause lens, the viewfinder and LCD screens to fog up. In really cold weather, the fog will quickly freeze.
5.) Use a good, water resistant camera case. You want a case that will seal your camera away from snow and rain while protecting it in case you take a fall on icy surfaces.
6.) Move your tripod. Try not to keep your tripod in one spot for too long. The legs may end up freezing there. Also try to keep you tripod as dry and free of snow as possible as you don’t want ice build-up to prevent you from retracting or extending it.
7.) Dress Warmly. Remember that photography will keep you standing in one place not doing much activity for extended periods of time. This will cause you to get cold quickly if you’re not dressed for it. It’s always a good idea to bring extra warm clothing in a pack, just in case the temperature drops.
8.) Use functional gloves. Bulky gloves will cause you to go insane when trying you operate your cameras functions, while taking you gloves off will make for frozen fingers. Find a pair of gloves that are both warm and thin fitting enough to let you freely use your camera. I personally use a pair of cross country skiing gloves for winter photo work.
My winter photography gallery. You can start your own gallery by signing up and uploading your images ... we would love to see them!
More great winter picture can be found at