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5 Quick Frost Photography Tips For Crisp Winter Photos

Cold mornings might not be fun for commuters but it does mean photographers get the chance to photograph frost before the sun thaws everything through.

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Frost Landscape


Winter is another perfect season for outdoor photography as, even though it's cold, clear overnight skies bring early morning frost and when you combine it with beautiful landscapes, something magical can appear. To ensure you succeed in your frost photography quest, we've put together 5 quick but essential frost photography tips.  


1. Lenses For Frost Photography 

With a cool, clear night comes morning frost and it's a subject that works well for both close-up work and wider landscape shots. For your close-ups of the patterns, frost creates you'll need a macro lens or a 70-200mm zoom lens with extension rings will work just as well if you don't own a macro lens.


2. Early Starts 

Frosts are typically better early in the day, often before the sun hits the frost and starts to thaw it; which means a prompt start, but one of the benefits of the winter months, is that at least sunrise is at a more sociable time than in the summer! Head for areas of open space and rolling landscapes, rather than woodland, where the shelter of the trees can prevent frost.

On a really cold day, when even the sun isn't going to thaw the frost too quickly, a touch of sunlight helps to emphasise the sparkle of frost, and especially try shooting into the light to accentuate the glint of the sun on the frost still further, but remember to use a lens hood to minimise the chance of flare on your pictures.


3. Bounce Some Light 

Take a reflector out with you (a piece of card covered in foil will do fine) as they're useful for bouncing light into shaded spots and remember to slip a few spare batteries into your pockets if you're planning on venturing out for a while. It's also worth remembering to wrap up warm as you'll soon feel the cold when you're stood waiting for those long exposure times to complete.


Logs and frost


4. Don't Let Frost Fool Your Camera 

Like snow, frost, particularly when it's a thick covering, can fool your camera's meter to think the scene's much lighter than it actually is and it will underexpose the shot. If this happens, use exposure compensation and shoot half to one and a half stops over what your camera thinks is correct. You should always check your histogram, too, to ensure the exposure's correct.


5. Frost Photography At Home

If you don't want to venture too far, have a look for frost on your windows as the patterns it produces are great for macro work. Out in the garden, icy blades of grass are worth capturing early in the morning and look for fallen leaves that are covered with frost while you're out there too. Use a small aperture to make sure more of your image is sharp but if you're working with a leaf that's still on a tree, try using a wider aperture to throw the background out of focus, isolating the leaf in the process. While you're looking at branches look for frost covered berries as the reds contrast well with the white coloured frost.


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bucket 7 32 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2016 10:25PM
I was intrigued about how to photograph frost. It seems you need a cold night with clear skies. I really wanted to take part, but despite the clear sky last night, the air temperature only dropped to +6.
How can I enter today's competiotion?
Tooma Plus
4 2.2k 3 Scotland
1 Feb 2018 1:18AM

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