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Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful! The Basics Of Winter Photography

Here are a few tips on how to take photos of snowy landscapes, snowflakes and all the other things we love about Winter.

| Landscape and Travel

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful! The Basics Of Winter Photography: Hall in snow


Witnessing the first snowflakes gracefully gliding down from the somber Winter sky to cover the street with a soft layer of white snow is a really heart warming sight and it's the perfect excuse to take your camera out of its bag to capture this Wintery weather phenomenon. To help you out, are here to share a few tips on how to take photos of snowy scenes, macro images of snowy flakes and all of the other things we love about the particular season.


Fast Shutter Speeds To Capture Snow Falling

Never underestimate a falling snowflake as it’s much faster than it appears at first. To capture those big, fluffy flakes you might actually need to go all the way up to 1/500 of a second. Anything below the 1/ 250 of a second mark will simply create a scene that’s filled with mushed, ambiguous streaks of white. Slow shutter speeds and the resulting painting-like textural quality is good for abstract Winter photography but it's not very fitting for a romantic and tranquil Winter portrait.


Use Exposure Compensation 

Your camera's metering system is fooled by the highly reflective tones of the snow and as a result, the camera underexposes so that the white snow becomes grey. To stop this from happening, adjust the exposure compensation setting to  plus 1 or two stops depending on the amount of snow in the picture. Compact camera users will find a snow scene mode they can switch to built-in. 


Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful! The Basics Of Winter Photography: Portrait in the snow


Shoot In RAW

By doing so, you gain more creative control of your photos during post-processing. Considering the reflective nature of the snow, it can be quite tricky to recognise potential flaws just by looking at your LCD screen and you may need to make adjustments in post that you didn't spot when out in the field. Talking of the LCD screen, you might also think something looks pretty rubbish when actually, when viewed large, it's actually really good so do think twice before deleting something. 



As the camera's sensor doesn't see how we do, if you meter for the brighter areas of the scene then chances are, you'll lose some shadow detail. Do the opposite and highlights can end up looking 'blown out'. However, by working with a built-in HDR mode or shooting an HDR image manually you'll be capturing a series of exposures, known as a bracket, that will be combined into one image that has better dynamic range (highlights and shadow detail). This can work really well with Wintery scenes, giving them more 'pop' and making them more visually interesting. 


Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful! The Basics Of Winter Photography: Bench in the snow



Instead of heading for a snow-clad village, try heading for an urban setting or an industrial area to give a different twist to your snow-themed photos. Don't overlook capturing black & white scenes either as this style of photography can give snowy landscapes an almost pen-and-ink simplicity that look great when presented on a canvas and surrounded by a black or white frame. 


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