Capturing a Winter Wonderland
Between dainty ice specks falling from the sky, otherworldly sunsets, and entire bodies of water transformed from liquid to solid, winter creates the most extreme natural phenomena our Earth has to offer. It’s only natural that photographers covet these images, scrambling to capture them before they melt away. But there’s a catch – winter is also one of the toughest seasons to shoot, subjecting the hapless shutterbug to challenges like wonky lighting and camera-breaking temperatures.
Are you and your camera ready to take on Wicked Winter? Here are some tips to help you capture some amazing frosted landscapes:
Winter weather creates unique conditions for photography, but it’s not always the friendliest environment for your camera. To protect your (rather expensive) tools of the trade, be sure to bring a few essentials:
- A plastic bag will keep the inside of your camera from water damage when condensation sets in.
- An insulated camera cover is ideal to protect your DSLR and your tripod from rain, mud and snow.
- Spare batteries will save you from a trip cut short, since cold temperatures cause batteries to produce less current and eventually fail to keep up with the demand for power.
- Fingerless gloves will keep your hands warm and dry while allowing you the dexterity you need to take pictures. If you’re a phone photographer, texting gloves can also help.
Focus on Details
Some of the most beautiful images of winter are also the tiniest: a bunch of striking red berries, a water droplet on the tip of an icicle, or a crystalline snowflake. Macrophotography can help you bring these simple wonders to the visual forefront, including those incredible close-up shots of snowflakes that show off their true form. You’ll need a few special techniques and to pull off a macrophotograph, but the results will be nothing short of magical. Don’t keep your hard-earned shots to yourself – be sure to put them on display! PhotoSquares are the perfect canvas for a snow series. Just select at least four images from your phone (you can even pull them directly from Instagram or Google Photos), and place your order. In just a few days, you’ll have your very own photo wall of unique macro snowflakes!
Adapt Your Camera
Macrophotography isn’t the only context that requires a little finagling of the DSLR during wintertime. Snow, cloud cover and other natural factors can affect the outcome of your photos, sometimes for the worse. Here are a few camera settings that can help you work with your environment:
- Use a lens hood on days that are sunny and The two are a lethal combo for reflecting light, and without protection, you run the risk of lens flare ruining your hard work.
- Change your white balance to “Cloudy” if you find your photos looking a little blue. This will help introduce warm colors to the images and make them more vibrant.
- Use a UV or clear filter to protect your lens from water distortion or damage. Remember that rain and snow aren’t the only conditions that create moisture!
- Check your exposure manually while shooting in the snow – the overwhelming presence of white can confuse your meter, leading to underexposed photos.
Set Some Goals
Wandering aimlessly in the winter landscape may sound romantic to some, but it can be frustrating at best and dangerous at worst. Take your photo excursion with some goals in mind – take a look at one of the hundreds of photo challenges available online, or create your own! Challenge yourself to tackle elements of nature (fog, water and snow), photography techniques (black and white or the aforementioned macro), or even broader themes like “warmth” or “strength” that you can leave up to interpretation.
For true photography lovers, shooting the winter wonderland is worth the effort!
When you’ve completed your challenge, display your accomplishments in your home on frameless PhotoSquares! Firm but gentle double-sided adhesives make them easy to hang, move and remove, so you can filter out old photos when you’re ready to show off your next series. Download the app now and begin your winter gallery!