Winter can provide a magical backdrop for taking stunning photographs, but due to the conditions it can also be tricky to get the most out of your camera. The cold, wet weather, and snow can all take their toll on both your equipment and the images you’re producing if you don’t know how to properly manage them. Don’t let the challenges of shooting in winter put you of though, because with a bit of planning the resultant pictures can turn out magnificently. Here’s how to take great winter photographs.
Make Sure You’re Dressed in Warm Clothes
This may seem like a no brainer, but the last thing that you want is to head out for a day shooting in the snow only to quickly get too cold and have to come back. Though you should be careful not to overdress, you need to remember that when you’re taking photographs, you’re stood still a lot of the time. This means you probably need to layer up a bit more than usual and make sure your footwear in particular is nice and warm as your feet have a tendency to get cold quickly. Thermals, gloves and a hat are also usually a good idea to allow you as much time in the cold as you wish.
Protect Your Lenses
Watch where you are breathing while you are shooting, hot humid breath will quickly steam up up your lenses potentially causing lasting damage. Lense caps also exist for a reason so when you are not using your camera be sure to keep it covered to act as a barrier against frost forming on it. Also keep you camera close to your body or in a well insulated bag while you are searching for your next shooting spot. And when you do come back inside place your equipment inside a ziplock plastic bag to acclimatize, this will ensure any condensation forms on the inside of the bag and not inside your camera.
Switch to Manual &Get the White Balance Right
Cameras tend to struggle in snowy conditions. The bright white sunlight reflecting off of the snow can confuse them into underexposing your images, leaving the white stuff with a bluish hue or looking grey and dull. To avoid this happening it’s vital to take control of the white balance yourself. Manually adjust it until you’re happy with the shade it’s producing. You should also shoot in RAW format as this will allow you far greater control over the final image at the editing stage, allowing you to touch up and correct them with ease.
Get Creative and Focus on Composition
Many photographers have a tendency to get obsessed with capturing the brilliant white snow in their images, but it’s also nice to add a little touch of creativity. The pure white backdrop of snow makes colors pop even more, so look for some color to provide that contrast. People, cars, trees and buildings can all make great focal points and add that burst of color you’re looking for.
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