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Six Tips for Taking Snow Shots You Will Treasure

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Winter is coming up quick. Some photographers see winter as a time to stay inside, but if you are adventurous, you can roam into the wilderness to get some great snowy scenes. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your winter landscape.

Set Your Camera Accordingly

It’s not easy to shoot in winter considering all the glare you will be dealing with. Manual mode gives you full control over your settings making it a good option for your shots.

However, if you are cold, it may be difficult for you to take off your gloves and make adjustments.

If this is the case, you may prefer shooting in aperture priority mode. This will give you the freedom to concentrate on depth of field. Once the aperture is set, the camera will adjust the shutter speed and ISO for you.

Shoot in RAW

RAW is recommended for snow shots. It is an uncompressed format so it will contain more detail. This will allow you to pull out details in post processing for an easier, more effective way to get a great finished product.

Rely on Your Histograms

Many photographers rely on their LCD screens to preview images. However, these are tiny screens that do not show details and colors accurately.

You are better off looking at your histogram for reference. Your histogram is a graphic representation of tonal values of your image. It will show the tones of brightness found in your photo from 0% to 100%.

This will be helpful when you are dealing with the glare of snow. It will keep you from overexposing or underexposing your images.

Get the Right White Balance

Getting the right white balance can be tricky when you are shooting snow. When snow is not directly lit by sunlight, it may reflect the sky to catch a bluish tone. To compensate, set your white balance manually.

You can set it to shade or take a white balance preset from the snow to get a warmer, more realistic tone. Alternately, you can try exposure compensation which will balance the blue or gray of the snow with a +1 or +2 compensation.

This technique may cause images to be overexposed, but they will be softer making it easy to adjust them in post processing.

Use a Hood and Polarizing Filter

When you shoot snow, you will be dealing with a lot of glare. This can cause light leaks and blurs in our photos.

Your lens comes with a lens hood that you may not use often, but it will come in handy in snow photography. It will stop lens flares from getting into your camera and it will protect your lens from falling snow and other objects.

You can also minimize glare by using a polarizing filter. The filter sits in front of your lens and protects it. It also eliminates unwanted reflections and darkens bright surfaces.

A circular polarizing filter will help you control the strength of the polarizing effect so you can keep details strong in bright areas.

Wake Up Early

Snow will look extra magical when it’s photographed at the golden hour. Wake up early so you are sure to be out there at this special time of day.

Snow photos make an excellent addition to your portfolio. Now that you know how to capture them, you are ready to get some great shots. What techniques do you use to make your winter days look terrific?


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