It’s that time of the year again; no more Autumn colour to photograph, but, still a good time for taking some interesting photographs though, if you don’t mind braving the cold.
When we think of photographing in the winter we generally think of snow scenes, but, some great photographs can still be taken even without the snow, such as a wide- spread frosty morning, or an atmospheric shot of the winter sun shining through freezing fog and of course, the wild life and birds.
Snow can be challenging to photograph, apart from the cold, those white snow scenes can fool your camera’s auto exposure meter, and if you’re not careful you could end up with your white snowy scenes looking rather grey.
To help prevent this, focus your camera on an object in the scene that you want to take a picture of that is mid-tone in colour such as a rock, tree trunk or building etc and press your shutter button half way down to allow your camera to take a meter reading, then refocus on the the scene ( keeping your shutter button half way down) and take the picture; the snowy part of the scene should now look white instead of grey.
If there’s no mid-tone objects to focus on and the scene is mainly white, then use your camera’s exposure compensation button (+/-) to help ‘whiten’ the snow; first focus on the whitest part of the snow then use your exposure compensation button to make the image brighter (add exposure) by dialling it to the +EV, the amount of EV (exposure value) you use will depend on the brightness of the scene, but start off by using +2/3EV.
What to photograph?
As the winter equinox gets closer, the dawn comes later in the day, which is good for those of us that like to get early dawn shots, such as long shadows caused by the low winter sun; they can make quite abstract looking images. Isolated colour such as a red post box, or some berries still clinging to the trees, can also look quite effective in an otherwise white scene.
Photographing falling snow can make quite an atmospheric image, but if you’re using aFlash, just be aware that the light from the flash will reflect on the snowflakes close to you (particularly when they’re large) causing bright white blobs in the foreground of your image.
Using your camera’s dials and buttons can be a bit difficult with cold hands, I’ve heard of photographers using Hand Warmers to help with this, sounds like a good idea to me; I’ll invest in some too. If your photographing outside in freezing conditions, remember to keep a spare battery with you; the winter cold will shorten the battery’s charge.
So, get out there and brave the cold, you may be rewarded with some sublime winter images.
Now take a look at these fantastic winter images taken from the creative commons.
Image by Jenny Downing
Image by Marc Samson
Image by Philip. Bitnar
Image by Christofer Andersson
Image by Muffet
Image by Bernt Rostad
Image by Rd Vortex
Image by artnow 314