This article will tell you the five most effective winter photography tips that will come in handy when shooting in winter and snowy weather. On cold winter evenings, there are many dreams of warm countries.
But in everything you need to look for your advantages, correct? See how beautiful winter landscapes can be when everything is covered with fluffy white snow. It is on such days that you need to grab your camera and shoot this beauty sooner.
You already have a little idea of what exposure is, and you know that it can be changed by setting a different combination of “shutter speed, aperture, ISO” parameters. When shooting in winter, you probably want to show the whiteness of a snow-covered forest or city park.
The whiteness of the snow makes the winter landscape clear, and it can be shown with the help of simple manipulations with the exposure.
The main challenge when shooting a snowy landscape is to make the snow-white.
However, suppose you set the exposure according to all the rules (avoid overexposure and underexposure). In that case, the snow-covered forest in your images will most likely turn into a dull gray mass. Yes, you will get smooth transitions and mid-tones even in the highlights of the picture. But is it that important when shooting a winter landscape?
To get bright white snow, expose the exposure a little more than necessary “by the rules.” In other words, open the aperture more, or slow down the shutter speed, or raise the ISO. It will allow more light to pass through the lens for a brighter, fresher winter photo.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re still shooting in automatic (auto, program, etc.) or semi-automatic (shutter or aperture priority). You, too, can outwit your technique. To do this, find the Exposure Compensation item in your camera settings and set the value from +2/3 to +2. The amount of exposure compensation will depend on the result you want to achieve. The higher the value you choose, the brighter and brighter the picture you will get. Exposure compensation allows you to make adjustments to settings automatically selected by your camera.
If you want to keep both halftones in the winter sky and show the whiteness of the snow, you will have to use the HDR photography technique or create a pseudo-HDR effect.
2. Depth of Field
It is best to use a deep depth of field to show the beautiful texture of a snowy landscape. The easiest way to adjust the depth of field is to set the desired aperture. Aperture values of F/7.1 – F/11 are best for shooting winter landscapes.
Also, a closed aperture is perfect for getting rid of excess light on a bright frosty day. The peculiarity of shooting in winter is that its reflection enhances the intensity of sunlight from the sparkling snow surface.
Snow does a great job of being a reflector, forcing us to squint on a winter afternoon. Therefore, close the aperture harder and/or set a faster shutter speed when shooting snowy landscapes in sunny weather.
3. White Balance
Shooting with Auto White Balance will most often produce a yellowish image with dirty snow. These muddy brown winter landscapes do not convey the frosty freshness you feel when walking in a snow-covered park.
To create a feeling of “frosty freshness,” you can take pictures slightly colder. To do this, just set the white balance setting, which corresponds to a warmer light than the one you are shooting. For example, in cloudy weather, set the mode to “Daylight / Daylight” (about 5200K), not “Cloudy / Cloudy” (about 6000K).
Thus, using the white balance settings, you compensate for the warm colors in the photo and give a blue to your snowy landscape.
For those who shoot in RAW or NEF format, you can lower the photo’s color temperature (correct the white balance) already during post-processing in a graphic editor. But the more correct settings you set when shooting, the less time you will have to spend post-processing photos. Remember this!
4. How to Save Battery Power in Your Camera?
When shooting in the cold season, you have to face technical difficulties. The first is the rapid drain on the battery. Due to the low temperature, your camera will use up energy much faster than shooting during the warmer months. Consider this factor when going on a winter shooting:
- Fully charge the battery before shooting.
- Bring a spare battery if planning an extended winter photoshoot
- It is advisable to keep an extra battery in an internal pocket so that it will keep the charge longer
- Use the optional battery grip and always have a strategic supply of batteries or accumulators with you
I also draw your attention to the fact that “native” branded batteries from Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc., work much more reliably and more prolonged than their Chinese counterparts. It is especially critical for winter photography.
5. Acclimatization of Technology and Protection of Your Equipment
When you move from a warm room to the street (i.e., when the temperature drops overboard), the operation of your camera becomes much more difficult. The camera may take longer than usual to react to your manipulations, and lenses sometimes fog up. Do not be alarmed; there is nothing wrong with that; the laws of physics work.
Give your vehicle some time to adjust to the weather. Do not remove the camera from the case for 5-7 minutes when you are outside on a winter day to mitigate the effects of temperature changes. Then take the camera out of the case and keep it off for a few more minutes. Then you can start shooting.
To combat lens fogging, you can prepare a soft cloth or tissue beforehand. Microfiber cloths do an excellent job with this task, which gently removes condensation without leaving streaks.
To avoid damage to the lens and internal condensation, take a protective case for the lens and camera. First of all, it is necessary to protect the equipment from contact with snow and wet surfaces.
If you have a break in shooting but still have to stay outside, turn off the camera and put it in the case. You can remove the battery beforehand and hide it in a warm place – for example, in the inner pocket of your jacket. This way, your equipment will last you longer when shooting in winter in difficult weather conditions.
Good winter pictures to you.