6 Tips For Taking Great Winter Photos

Blue Mountain, NS (Photo by Doug van Hemessen/NCC staff)

Blue Mountain, NS (Photo by Doug van Hemessen/NCC staff)

Blue Mountain outside Halifax, Nova Scotia, December 27, 2013. It was late afternoon after a fresh snowfall. Like many people, I tend to keep my camera tucked away more often during winter. But the hike to the top of this granite ridge is rewarded with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and the city of Halifax on the southern horizon. Might be a good one for the next set of my homemade Christmas cards!

Here are a few tips for shooting photographs in the snow that might get your camera out with you this winter:

1. Dress warmly! We all know that (right?) but when photographing you can find yourself moving around less and generating less heat. Wear gloves or mittens that allow you to operate your camera or can be removed and put back on easily and quickly.

2. If you have a camera with interchangeable lenses you may be better off heading out into the snow and cold with just a single lens that can cover the range you are most interested in. Changing lenses can be awkward in the cold and depending on the conditions you risk snow blowing into the camera.

3.Make sure the battery is fully charged. Batteries have less life when the temperature is below freezing and, as above, it is no fun having to change them in the cold and snow and risk moisture entering the camera.

4. Automatic exposure can be fooled by the brightness of snow and typically the camera underexposes. Itís best to adjust your exposure by plus 1 EV (Exposure Value) to get things right. Most cameras allow you to do this, with either an external knob or through menu commands.

5. White Balance equalizes colors based on the lighting conditions. Snow is very reflective and can cause your camera sensor to misread the white balance. This will usually cause snow to look grey or blue. Exposing correctly helps (see 5.). But sometimes adjusting the White Balance produces better results. You can see the adjustment through in the viewing screen.

6.When moving from a warm building or car out into the cold, †condensation may form on your camera when you remove it from its case or your pocket. It can happen again when you go back inside. Have a lens cloth handy to wipe condensation or droplets from the lens and camera.

Keep your photographic eye roving!

Written by Doug van Hemessen, stewardship coordinator for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Nova Scotia. This post originally appeared on Land Lines, the NCC blog.

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Angela K.
Angela K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

Great tips - thanks for the information! I'll try them next winter!

Colin Hope
Colin Hope4 years ago

Practice makes perfect, even when it's cold out there!!

Kamia T.
Kamia T4 years ago

I always admire great photos and the patience really good photographers have to have to get that special shot. These are really good tips. Thanks so much!

Ana Marija R.
ANA MARIJA R4 years ago

Thank you.

Beba H.
beba h4 years ago

I love taking pictures---thanks for the tips---this is one of my favorite past-times and hobby.

Vita Pagh
Vita P4 years ago

Thank you for the tips.

Clare Gorman
Clare Gorman4 years ago

stunning :)

Luis Brantuas

Thanks for sharing!