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Submitted on
January 17, 2013
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The best of the Wintery weather conditions often come later on in the season, especially here in the UK. The next week or so will hopefully provide many photographers with the chance to capture those snowy scenes. So what’s the best way to achieve them?

I’m sure many will agree that snowy landscapes are amongst the trickiest things to photograph. Exposure is the common problem; temperature is usually a close second! If your camera has a snow or winter setting then this will help override the auto white balance and lower the exposure, so you are already set to go. But if your camera doesn’t have these functions, then you might find these tips handy:

December View by Kaz-D

1.Before you head out, check your equipment. The white skies that often accompany a snowy scene are the most likely out of any shot you’ll take, to show up the dirt on your lens. Give it a good clean beforehand or you’ll be spending a long time with the spot healing tool in Photoshop afterwards!

2.If you are presented with a cloudy day, then have a look through your white balance settings and select the cloudy function. It’s as simple as that! However you will need to look at your exposure settings and if you’re comfortable spot-metering then use this to gauge your levels.

3. Shooting at night can often portray snow in a completely different way. Setting your white balance to ‘Tungsten’ will help get the best out of this situation and of course don’t forget to use a tripod to steady your shots with the low light.

4. Shooting sunny snow scenes is often a lot easier and more alluring to the eye. If you’ve got a fantastically blue sky against crisp snow then it’s doubly important that you set your white balance accurately. Use the Manual or Custom Modes and point at a clean patch of snow to set the balance of colours needed. Try and avoid focusing on shadowy areas or bits within your frame that are overly bright. This can lead to poor exposure for both sky and snow, spend some time picking the most neutral part.

5.Check out the Golden Hours – not familiar with these? Then you should be! They will quite honestly improve your Photography. Knowing the best times of day to shoot at is paramount to capturing that excellent shot. For snow, the time when the sun is lowest on the horizon is the best time of day to capture a beautiful landscape.

6.Try and find something to highlight in your image. Whether this is a tree, an animal, a building – whatever you can find will help to distinguish the layers of snow in your shot and if you’re shooting on a cloudy day – this tip will come in useful.

7.Finally, protecting yourself from the cold is vital. But what about the camera?  The lens can fog up, batteries lose power a lot more quickly (no it’s not a myth!) and condensation can form in the most awkward of places. Keep the batteries in your pocket where possible, and have spares available. If there is a lot of moisture in the air consider using a plastic bag to protect your camera, or better yet – invest in a raincoat for the camera. They’re cheap and you could probably make one yourself.  Most importantly, if you’re shooting in extreme temperatures – whether hot or cold – check your camera warranty and what it covers. Without realising you could easily void it.

Don’t forget that if you manage to get more creative and adventurous with your point of view and your settings, you could potentially disregard all of the above and capture something completely random that turns out wonderful!

Winter Evening by Kaz-D

This weeks troubleshooting article is designed for those expecting a dump of snow tonight and over the weekend! Enjoy! Don't forget to :+fav: if you like the article!
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ByPriorArrangement Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
:lol: I have dropped this article into a Favs box on our #Photo-Challenge-52 Group page. Thank you so much for a great piece. :hug:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
Nameda Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
:thumbsup: thanks
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
zeochan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Oh this is quite interesting to read because funny enough, I have a photoshoot for cosplay this weekend :). I always wanted to do my own photography for snow before so before I head out this weekend i'll be sure to keep all this in mind. It actually snowed last night where I live so hopefully it'll snow more today or that there's still snow for my shoot.
Thanks for this :dummy:!
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent! Hopefully you'll get something :)
Toni-R Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Do you know how easily camera could break in extreme coldness?
For example forecast is promising -21C for tomorrow. With wind the temperature feels -31C.
Should I stay home instead of going to photograph or does the camera handle the coldness, if I use the plastic bag when I'm not using the camera?
I remember from previous winters that zooming started to be difficult as the lens started to freeze in similar temperatures.

Anyway, useful article, I knew some of the things you mentioned, but I also learned something new.
Thank you for writing this.
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Honestly, I don't know. But I went out in the snow just now, and of course, it was very cold - probably around -1. My camera struggled, and when I got it inside it took a while for the condensation to clear, even in the smallest places on it. :nod: So be really really careful, even if it doesn't have snow around and so on, the cold air could be enough perhaps. I don't think a plastic bag is enough in extreme temperatures that you're talking about. :(
Toni-R Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the response. I'll have to be careful. I will go photograph when the temperature gets lower, I don't know what I'll do, if my camera stops working.
kiukkukissa Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Good tips. One more tip I learned from a pro photographer: when you bring your camera back inside and there's a big temperature difference, condensation can easily form inside the camera, and the moisture really isn't good for the electronics and such. You can help prevent this by putting your camera in your camera bag before going indoors. Then, keep the camera in the bag for a couple of hours, so it reaches the room temperature slowly.
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