Shooting in Winter

During winter, the world is blanketed in white and entire landscapes change appearance. The temperature of the air also drops to the point where you have to take certain measures to keep warm. Shooting in winter can be challenging especially because you have to make sure your camera equipment is well protected. Not only must you concentrate on getting a great shot, but you must also be aware of how the winter conditions are affecting your gear during the shoot. The following are some tips on how to make use of this magical season to create breathtaking shots:

Take advantage of the winter sunrise/sunset – it is not only during the summers at the beach that you can capture great sunsets. Winter sunsets can be equally magnificent. Make sure you have spare batteries that are fully charged. Take a tripod along with you to avoid camera shake. Make sure you set up as early as possible because the winter sun can set earlier than usual.

Understand the properties of snow- natural lighting can add a magical touch to the beauty of snow. Snow can bounce light into every possible corner, like a giant light reflector. Aside from its reflective properties, it can also melt, clump up into formations, it can be shaped into snowmen or snowballs, and it is very cold. There are many ways of shooting snow as the subject, from capturing tiny snowflakes in mid-air, to frost formations on glass panes, to a soft snowy hillside. 

Have fun – snow can help you to loosen up your subjects who are camera shy. Have them play in the snow and take this opportunity to take great candid shots. This will also make them more relaxed. You can move away from them and zoom in on your subjects to give them more space, and try to capture them doing an activity such as having a snowball fight, making snow angels or building a snowman.

Make use of colors- the dramatic change snow brings to a scene can be used to your advantage. For example, bright clothes will stand out against the pristine white snow. Actually, any color would be accentuated since snow will act like a blank canvas. Unlike the colors of other seasons such as spring and autumn, be extra careful with your white balance because winter snow is predominantly white.

Shoot the trees – lush, green trees can turn barren in winter and branches there were once full of leaves are now stark and empty against the sky. Trees can be successfully used to enhance a landscape shot, whether it is a lonely looking tree against a vast expanse of white or a row of evergreens heavy with snow. 

Capture the atmosphere – winter shots can be very atmospheric since the environment can sometimes be unrecognizable when covered with a layer of snow. Fog can add to the misty soft look and an ordinary setting can suddenly be transformed into a fairytale scene. Photos that capture this winter atmosphere can trigger an emotional response from the viewer. 

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