When the sky is clear, the air is crisp and your camera is charged, it’s the perfect time to head outside and take some photos. Winter presents lots of beautiful moments… snow, ice and winter sports all make perfect photo opportunities.
But it can be hard to capture the beauty of the coldest season in a single photograph. We’ve put together 7 outdoor winter photography tips that will help you take photos like a professional.
Keep your batteries warm and your gear dry
Whether you’re using a camera or your smartphone, it’s important to remember to look after your equipment.
Low temperatures will reduce the efficiency of your batteries, so be sure to bring a lot of extra power if you don’t want to end up lugging around a useless camera.
Be sure to keep your gear dry. While many cameras can take a bit of snow or humidity, there is no reason not to take some extra precaution (and some extra cloth and a water resistant bag). And while you are at it, pack a few filters too. While not always necessary or useful, filters can make your photos look even more impressive.
A polarising filter can work wonders on a crisp winter day, making the sky a deeper blue and making details stand out.
A black and white filter on a grey day can enhance the moodiness of a scene and really make it come to life.
Be aware of light
Choose the time of day wisely depending on what type of photos you want to take.
Sunset and sunrise will add some great colour to scenery that might otherwise be a little too monotonous for you. Check the sunset and sunrise times online so you don’t miss those moments – especially if you like breath-taking landscapes.
There is no reason to stop shooting just because the sun is high. The sun shining over a snowboarder mid-trick will make your photo dynamic and special.
Take advantage of a grey day to make colours pop. Any bright colours will stand out and you will get some artsy photos.
Experiment with action shots
Whether you’re hitting the slopes with some expert skiers or hiking through the woods at a leisurely pace, it’s useful to know how to capture the action.
To freeze movement when the action is peaking, you need to use fast shutter speeds Try something above 1/500th of a second, although 1/1000th would be better, if light permits, but remember, this will underexpose your photos, making them too dark.
To counter this, use exposure compensation or increase your ISO value. Try different settings until you find what works for you.
Get close to the action
The closer you are to the action, the more impressive the photos will be. It is also good to consider your angles.
Use a wide angle lens and get as close as you can to get the most dramatic action on the slopes. Study your subjects, think about your framing and your background, talk to people doing cool stuff, you will get information on what they are doing and you might make new friends.
Don’t just take a snapshot, go for the best image you can imagine. That might mean taking hundreds of photos but it will be worth it.
Look for the unexpected
Consider elements that can make your photo more interesting. Backgrounds, shadows, people. But also consider simplicity. It’s sometimes those images that come out the best.
A cup of steaming chocolate in the foreground or a ridge of icy peaks in the background can add new layers to the story your photo is telling.
Simple works too… pristine slopes of white snow with one elegant set of ski tracks can be equally beautiful.
Take control of exposure
It’s a camera trick that all professionals swear by and will give your photos the edge over others.
Adjust your exposure manually. The metering system on your camera will probably make your white slopes and cotton cloud sky look grey. While this might be the look you are going for, in most cases you might want your snow to look white.
Remember to overexpose a little so you can be sure the snow in your pictures looks just right.
Stay warm and have fun
Above all, you need to have fun, so be sure to keep yourself warm and comfortable, take some snacks and a hot drink.
Once you’ve come back inside and warmed up by the fire, share your winter outdoor photographs with us on social media using the #mybonusprint hashtag for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.
You could also create a photo product from your photos… put the best ones in a photo book or print your favourite on a wall art. Share this blog post with friends and family using the icons below to encourage them to get outside and start taking photos too!
Share your winter photos with us!