Today's blog is aimed at those who may never have tried to photograph snow or ice before, or maybe just need some pointers, so here are a few tips to help you get better photographs in the snowy weather, whether you're off skiing or just to colder climes hopefully this will help you to get some great shots.
1. Whilst sunny days make for great photos with the beautiful blue skies against the pure white snow, don't let a lack of sunshine stop you getting out there, just remember that if you have a grey or off white sky and then a snowy foreground, find something to have in the photo to break the image up - a row of trees, a house, mountain peak, whatever you have around you, just use something to stop the scene being one large grey rectangle with nothing of interest to really focus on.
2. Never delete any images in your camera whilst you are out and about, wait until you can get back and look at all of them properly on your computer to see what works for you and what you don't like. Sometimes images that you think don't work, when converted to black and white can become the most dramatic.
3. Other things to remember, carry plenty of spare batteries, cold weather can dramatically alter the operating time of the battery in your camera. Be patient as whilst you are out and about if it is a cloudy day, you may find that as the cloud moves and you get a small bit of sunshine breaking through in small rays, you get the best shots, so look to the sky and see what's happening before you move location.
4. Play with your shutter speed, if you have snow falling and you use a slower shutter speed you will see the blur of the snowflakes, which can be very pretty - you will of course need a tripod for good results. Likewise using a faster shutter speed will stop those pretty snowflakes dead in their tracks and gives a different effect again. The slower shutter speed can also give you movement in the cloud if it's not actually snowing whilst you are out.
It's really about looking around you and working with what you have been offered by the weather Gods :-)
5. You will probably need to over expose your photos by 1 to 1.5 stops - as your camera will naturally want to under expose a snowy scene, however if you don't believe me - make sure you shoot in RAW and you can pull the exposure up to where you are happy before you convert it to a jpeg.
6. Other things to think about are what you are going to be wearing on your hands. I have some silk thermal glove liners that I wear under some more heavy duty gloves, so that when I take my gloves off, my hands are able to use the buttons on my camera and still keep reasonably warm from the cold weather that surrounds you. Never let your fingers get too cold.
7. If you have a polarizer filter this can be very useful, but be careful not to over use it, the shot at the very top of this blog doesn't have a polarizer filter on it all although everybody assumes it does. Using one can help darken blue skies though, adding definition to clouds and eliminating glare too.
8. The best piece of advice that I have for you though is to charge your batteries, wrap up warm, get out there and have a go at capturing some fabulous wintery scenes and enjoy yourself and remember that if you are looking to capture people whooshing past on skiis and snowboards use a fast shutter speed ;-)
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