Most people, when they think of winter, just want to stay in the house and be warm. Winter is definitely a harsh, brutal time of the year. But, the photographers of the world are noticing all the beautiful photos they can take. And as they go out to take pictures they are challenged by the harshness of the light, the exposure, the ability to think through the white balance and so on.
Let’s get in to the best tips of taking photos in the winter:
Let’s be up front with you right now. The camera will do it’s job, but, it really doesn’t know that you are taking pictures of snow. It thinks you are going to take pictures of dirt, and it’s about 18% grey. So, if you just leave your camera on auto, your snow won’t be white, it will be grey or a blue. When you look at your pictures, you will wonder what happened. It is often helpful to overexpose by +0.3 to +1.0 EV for a better exposure value, achieving a truer whiteness but taking care not to overexpose too much and lose any detail. How much of an increase you will need depends on a number of factors, as all cameras have slightly different settings and the light around you is not always the same. So play around.
I have also found that if you learn your camera well, you can use the “white balance” feature of your camera. That is basically telling the camera that what you are pointing at is white.
GET YOUR SUBJECT IN THE VIEWFINDER MORE
If you can get your subject to fill the frame in your camera’s viewfinder, that will work wonders for you. Allow the camera to take a better and more accurate reading and avoid the subject being too backlit, which will cause a silhouette effect. It’s best to take a meter reading from just in front of your subject, then light and set meters accordingly, but for amateur purposes the former is better, especially if you are relying on the camera to do the lion’s share of the metering.
BE AWARE OF YOUR BATTERIES POWER
When you get out in the cold, and your taking lots of photos, the one thing you want to be aware of is the fact that batteries in your camera do not like the cold. Have a spare set or two in your pocket so you don’t miss those amazing photos.
KEEP YOUR CAMERA AND LENS DRY
It can actually be tricky to keep things dry while photographing in the snow. You take your lens cap off, and stick it in your pocket, then you touch some snow…. then you put your wet lens cap on your lens, and you have a problem now. Water spots on the lens. Make sure you check your lens regularly while shooting in the snow.
MAKE SURE TO GIVE YOUR CAMERA WARMING TIME BEFORE SHOOTING AGAIN INSIDE
Problems may occur when moving in and out of freezing conditions, so allow your camera to warm up slowly. Even better, if you need to start shooting again indoors then make sure you have a camera inside. Otherwise you may be stuck with a foggy lens while your camera warms up!
WEAR WARM CLOTHING
And the most important… Wear thick socks and gloves. If you can get some gloves that are fingerless, that will help during your photography.
DON’T MISS TOMORROWS BIG BLOG: THE ANNUAL: “ART OF BLACK AND WHITE”. Showcasing amazing photographers who have discovered that black and white is beautiful.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY LANNY COTTRELL /CREATOR OF 123PHOTOGO.