Clever Tips for Winter Photography (Part 1)
Winter time should not dampen your artistic spirit. Just because it is freezing outside doesn’t mean you tuck away your camera until spring time calls. Here are clever tips to make snow, rain and frost work to your advantage and make the most unique winter photography portfolio ever.
- Capture fog and mist.
The best time to do this is early mornings before the sun dries them all up. Even if you don’t trust the weather channel for giving out the exact forecast for the day, just make it a habit to be always on the move for some clicking action. By using a telephoto lens, you can reduce objects to simple shapes and flatten perspective. A little exposure compensation, around +0.7EV or more can give you that pale, misty tones you need for your composition.
- Capture sunrise and sunset.
Take your camera as you walk the dog, fetch the paper or move the trash to the curb at dawn or at dusk. You’d be surprised at the spectacular burst of red, orange, and pink tones during these times. You have to be prompt so as not to miss the moment. If you’re really making this a photo-op, then choose a good location to get best results.
- Protect your camera.
Moisture can damage your camera. Sea spray, in particular, can leave gritty deposits in your lens. Make sure you always have a UV filter for it. It is cheaper to buy a filter than a new lens. A waterproof bag is a must, especially if you are not clicking away – so that nothing would get into your camera’s crevices. A rubber band is useful to keep the opening around the lens barrel in place. Do not take shots without some shoulder straps because you’ll never know when the camera might slip from your hands. Have some extra batteries handy at all times because extreme cold can reduce their capacity.
- Make use of the contrast in the surroundings.
This includes the blue skies and the snow when placed against each other. Just be simple when making the composition. Make the snow come out pure white by applying positive EV compensation.
- Make way for stormy winter skies.
A graduated filter is your best friend for this scene (and a little Photoshop later). The sky should be a dynamic element of the composition, not just an empty space. Include the different shapes of the clouds. Create an interesting balance by adjusting the hue of the sky. One black-and-white technique you can use to your advantage is dodging and burning. But it can also render exceptionally good colour photography.
- Make your filters work for you.
An ND filter would let you control the brightness all around you. Neutral density filters can also make impressive blurry effects by letting you use longer exposure times. On the other hand, polarising filters can minimize the reflection from the water or glare from the sun, which only intensifies the blueness of the skies. Use square filter systems to allow you to utilise all your filters and holders with your lenses.