Most of us love taking photos in summer, or when we travel to tropical climes. But when the snow starts to fall, the camera tends to go back in the closet. Taking winter photos is a whole other skill: there’s less colour in the landscape, it’s freezing cold, and those classic snow scenes can be tricky to photograph.
Still, taking winter photos can be very rewarding. The more restricted colour palette can sometimes make you look a little harder at the whole scene in front of you, spend a little more time on the composition. And the changing weather conditions can create a dozen different moods, from bright sun glinting off the fresh snow, to the blue shadows of a winter twilight, to the misty veil a heavy snowfall throws across a scene.
But how do you deal with the challenges of capturing those winter photos? First, you have to have the right gear for cold weather shooting, so you and you camera don’t freeze out there. Then, you have to learn the tricks of getting the right exposure so that snow looks white instead of grey. If you’re shooting at night, or in the city, there are other techniques involved. And finally, how do you get those shots where the falling snowflakes add a feeling of winter?
Lots of questions. But don’t worry — the answers await. Recently, I took part in a video by my colleague Maarten Heilbron, of the Maartech website, for his top-rated YouTube channel. The video features a number of photo professionals, who talk about the most common issues involved with winter photography. And since it was shot at the YouTube studios in Toronto, it has a suitably wintery setting. My short segment appears at the end, but the whole video is well worth watching.
So here it is, Maarten Heilbron’s Winter Photo Tips. I hope it helps unlock the secrets of taking winter photos for you — and maybe gets you out there shooting on the next snowy day: