Clever Tips for Winter Photography (Part 3)
Want to capture the magnificence of nature during winter? No problem! You don’t have to wander off that far. Your own backyard can offer unending possibilities. Or you can be bolder and walk to the nearest park. Here are tips you can find useful.
- Watch out for patterns and contrasts.
It is not just about what you include in the composition that matters but also what you exclude. Don’t just shoot whole objects. Observe the repeating textures, patterns and shapes within and around them.
- Take close-ups of frosty elements.
When ordinary objects like a pile of leaves is covered with frost, it makes for a composition that is graphic, striking, and unique. To ensure that your subject is at right angles to your camera, you have to shoot straight downwards. This will emphasize the details. If you want to blur the backdrop to highlight the subject, use a wide lens aperture and longer focal length. Make sure you position yourself so there is enough distance between the subject and the background.
- Be playful and flexible.
Sledging on the snow seems to be a classic cheery winter scene. But don’t let heavily overcast days ruin your composition. Stop the ‘greying’ of the snow by using 1-1.5EV exposure compensation. And don’t get too excited by the bright skies, either. Make sure you have 800 and more ISO setting to prevent blur or camera shake.
- Focus on wildlife.
If you can manage to find birds, insects and animals playing in the snow, then observe how often they do their regular activities so you can set up a photo scene without scaring them away. Use a tripod and a long telephoto lens so they can still move around as normal as possible.
- Get as many portraits as you can.
Take advantage of the soft and flattering winter light so you can capture people in their most candid movements. The snow on the ground can also be used as a ready-made reflector so you can just fire away. If you still want to have a striking portrait, use several flashguns for illuminating everything from different angles. Even if it is dark, there is no reason to stop you from taking fabulous portraits. A telephoto lens is perfect for outdoor portraits and to blur unwanted or distracting backgrounds.
- Be careful with shutter speeds.
The ‘reciprocal’ rule can guide you to your shutter speed. Use more than 1/30 sec if you’re shooting at 30mm focal length, for example.
- Stabilize image and reduce vibration.
Some DLSRs in the market today, like Sony cameras, have technology that adjusts the sensor to prevent any camera movement. On the other hand, Canon IS lenses and Nikon’s VR lenses also minimise camera shake.