Have you ever wondered how those beautiful snow images were taken? Do you often imagine the kind of effort and preparation put in by the photographer? One thing is for sure; winter is a beautiful time of the year to capture great images. It may be a piece of work but it worth it.
Taking photos in the snow requires special skill and adequate preparation, there is a good chance that you are reading this article because you've tried it and failed or only ended up with a bunch of dull, under exposed, shots. Even the most accomplished photographer can find it challenging taking beautiful photos in the snow using the most sophisticated camera. The secret of getting beautiful images in this situation lies in your preparation and mastery of your camera.
In this article, you will learn how you can start producing admirable images in the snow. With these pointers, you can start shooting better snow shots irrespective of your skill or equipment level.
1. Dress for the Occasion
This may sound obvious, but you will be surprised how many people were unable to take good images in the snow because they are not feeling comfortable in their dress. Photography in snow is quite different from what you are used to. If you are used to dressing for 32-degree weather, you have to prepare for minus 20 degree weather.
Here are what you must do:
- Wear warm boots
- Wear gloves or take them along with you
- Go along with sunglasses
- Don't overdress
2. Get Ready for Early Start
The most beautiful images can be gotten from fresh snow scenes. Unlike other types of photography where you need to worry about the finding a good angle, your greatest worry about snow photography is ensuring that you find your snow in a good condition. Yellow snow can ruin what could have been a perfect photo. You should get ready to start taking pictures after fresh snowfall so you can best snow images.
3. Ensure Your Batteries are Warm
Nothing is worse than coming out in snow to discover that your batteries are dead or damp. Batteries don't last long in cold weathers. We recommend that you charge at least two batteries, package the one that you are not using warmly inside your pocket and put the other one in your camera. If the one in your camera starts to run low, change it and put the drained one in your pocket. There is a chance you can still use it again when it warms up.
4. Set Your Camera to Raw Mode
Setting your camera to Raw will give you chance to edit the images as you want later. Additionally, you will need to compensate for exposure. Ordinarily, you camera will attempt to make snow look gray, to compensate for exposure in this regard, you will need to set exposure compensation to +1 or +2. This setting will ensure that your snow looks white.
5. Consider Using a Reverse "White" Vignette
It is almost impossible to use a traditional dark vignette with the amount of white and grey in snow photos. It will look too obvious and out of place. Instead, using the "White" vignette will be a better option. They can add a magical quality to snow photographs and enhance the middle-of-the-storm effect.
6. Use Manual Mode
The brightness of the snow can be a bit overpowering for your camera's internal light meter. Your camera is designed to compensate for light accordingly, hence, when in snow condition, it will read all of the bright light reflected from the snow resulting in dark images. You can easily overcome this by shooting in Manual mode and compensate for light accordingly.
7. Don't Delete Photos in the Field
Don't be too quick to start deleting your photos while in the field until you have had a chance to take a look at them when you are warm and comfy and sitting before your computer at home. You will be able to see clearly and make better decisions when you are at home.
8. Use Histogram Readout
Instead of using your LCD screen to determine an accurate reading of the scene, use the histogram readout. This is because it can be somewhat hard for you to correctly judge an image on a small LCD screen in the middle of a snow-covered landscape. Using histogram will provide you with a better option.
9. Bag Your Camera Properly
Beware of condensation! They can form both outside and inside of your camera when they are out in the cold. When you are going out in the snow to shoot, go along with a large zip-lock bag. Keep your camera in the bag and ensure it is sealed tight whenever you are not using it. Put your camera where it can warm slowly once you are back in the house.