Getting the Most Out of Winter Photography

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There are plenty of great photo opportunities when winter arrives and the snow starts to fall. Whether you’re skiing the slopes, tobogganing with your kids or passing by glaciers and frozen lakes, you should be able to capture some fine images as long as you keep a few digital photography basics in mind. With the winter snow comes colder temperatures. You need to make sure you’re dressed warmly and bundle up, but don’t forget that the cold weather can also affect your digital camera equipment.

Getting the Most Out of Winter Photography

When your camera batteries get cold their output will be reduced. Try to keep your camera as warm as possible and keep your spare set of batteries in a warm place too. Since your body gives off a good amount of heat it’s not a bad idea to keep extra batteries in your pocket. You may even want to rotate your batteries every once in awhile. To do this, just take the batteries out of the camera and replace them with the warm ones. By doing this your camera will always have relatively warm batteries in it.

While the fluffy white snow can look gorgeous and clean it can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare to photograph. The built-in light meter on your camera often reads a snowy scene as a gray tone of about 18 per cent. The snow may end up looking gray and the rest of the image will be quite dark. You could overcome this by letting more light in the camera by opening up the aperture or slightly over expose the shot.

The problem with this is if there are people in the photo they could be overexposed too. To remedy this get close to the people and take a light reading of their faces. This will allow you to shoot from anywhere and get the proper exposure for their faces. You could also try bracketing your shots by taking them at different exposures.

By taking a few photos of each scene there’s a very good chance that one of them will be just what you’re looking for. You can also use a digital photo editing program to fine tune them and delete the ones that are obviously too under or over exposed.

Remember, when shooting outdoors you’ll need good lighting and the best time of day for this is usually early in the morning and/or late in the afternoon. The sun creates long shadows when it’s at a low angle and this will add contrast to the subject. It’s important to know where the sun is located in relation to the subject. When it’s early or late in the day it’s a good idea to keep the sun at a right angle. When the sun’s high up in the sky you should try to keep it behind you when shooting.

It’s also a good idea to add a little color or something of contrast when shooting a snowy scene. Completely white photos can often be a little boring and hard for the eyes to decipher. There are also many good outdoor sports in winter to practice taking action and sports shots. You’ll find that skiing, snowboarding, and outdoor hockey games are ideal.

As long as you take care of your camera in the cold weather and keep it warm and dry you shouldn’t have any major problems with it. When you take it out of the case the camera lens may fog up, but if you just give it a minute to get used to the temperature all of the glass parts should clear up and you’ll be ready to go.

Posted in: Nature Photography

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