Winter is a great time to get and take photos—if you’re prepared. Yes, you can safely use your camera outdoors in wintry weather. And with these simple tips, you can have more fun and get better photos while enjoying winter.
Marie’s 10 Winter Photography Tips
- Dress properly. It’s no fun to be cold. Layers work well, even with your gloves and mittens. One of my favorite finds is a pair of lightweight sport gloves (I can’t tell you the brand because it’s not on the gloves, but I bought them at Costco) that are thin enough to wear underneath my heavy gloves but still keep my hands warm and allow me to operate the controls on my camera with my hands protected.
- Keep your camera warm. Cold batteries are the cause of most camera problems. Cold batteries fail more quickly. Keep your camera inside your coat when not using it, if possible. Carry extra batteries and keep them in an inside pocket, as near to your body as possible to help keep them warm. You may have to switch batteries more frequently. When cold batteries warm up, they usually still work fine without a recharge.
- Keep your camera dry by using a plastic zipper bag with an opening for the lens, which you can secure with a rubber band. If you’ve got the budget for it, you can buy special “rain gear” for your camera–it’s just as effective for snow.When you are done photographing, put your camera inside a plastic bag when you bring it inside to protect it from condensation as it warms up. Leave it in the bag until it reaches room temperature; resist the temptation to download or look at your photos right away. I know this is probably the hardest part of all, but it’s critical to a healthy camera.
- Snow will fool your camera’s light meter. If you can adjust the exposure, open it up an extra stop on a sunny, snowy day so your snow photos don’t all come out too dark.
- Use your flash to help compensate for even harsher shadows when photographing people outside in the snow and sun.
- When photographing people, encourage them to wear bright colors which stand out wonderfully against the snow.
- Get the family in action. Snowboarding, skiing, sledding and snowball fights all make great photos. Use the action mode on your camera if you don’t have manual settings.
- Look for close-ups of natural items in the snow—winter berries, pinecones, autumn leaves and rocks all look completely different covered in snow.
- Head out–carefully–after a snow or ice storm. Snow- and ice-covered objects, both natural and manmade make great subjects for artistic photographs. If necessary, consider investing in a pair of SnowTrax for the bottom of your shoes to help with your grip on the ice. A slip on the ice that breaks your camera could ruin your outing, but one that breaks your arm could ruin your winter.
- If your camera has a macro or close-up feature, try photographing snowflakes and icicles for unique winter patterns.
- Have fun. Experiment with colors, textures, patterns and exposure. Winter is a season like no other for photography.
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____________________________________________________ Marie Leslie is the chief Creative Genius at Marie Leslie Media. With 30 years experience as a professional writer, editor and photographer she has had work published in many regional and national magazines. Marie currently writes and teaches about business, photography & life, helping people to understand and make use of the ever-changing internet. She offers WordPress blog design, set-up and optimization as well as photography, writing & social media services.