3 great tips for outdoor winter photography.
Master the art of outdoor winter photography with these "cool" tips.
Each season brings its own photography benefits: the light and landscape change with the temperature, creating new and fleeting moments to capture.
If you can bear the cold, winter offers many perks. Fewer people outside in low temperatures means a chance to experience nature with more intimacy. Snow and ice decorate the landscape and reflect light in unique ways. Barren trees and colder air cool down the lighting and ambiance to create different palettes. In many ways, winter sets the perfect mood for peaceful scenes of solitude.
Learn how to get both yourself and your equipment ready for winter weather, and then get inspired with these top winter photography tips.
Prepare yourself — and your camera.
You may have heard the saying, “there’s no bad weather, just bad preparation.” Make sure you’ve prepared yourself for the cold weather so you can maximize your time out there safely. Since photography can be an active activity, you’ll want clothes that keep you warm while also cooling you down if you're running around trying to get the right shots. That means layers with zippers that you can use for ventilation. You'll also want to keep your extremities warm. A hat, gloves (that won’t interfere with camera work), warm socks, and waterproof boots are all essential.
Keep your equipment warm, too. Your equipment needs to be as prepared for the cold as you are. Modern cameras are typically weather-sealed, but you'll still want to take precautions. Cold weather can rapidly deplete your battery life. Carry extra batteries, and try keeping them as warm as possible with hand warmers. Water vapor, formed when temps change quickly (like when you move from shooting outside to the warmth of your car), can condense in your camera and lead to electrical malfunctions. Seal your camera in a large Ziploc bag before moving into a warm environment to help regulate the temperature and prevent too much condensation.
3 winter photography ideas to amp up your photos.
Now that you've prepared yourself, it's time to take some photos. Experiment with some of the natural features of the season to get your ultimate winter shot.
- Winter light. Winter lighting can change rapidly and dramatically as clouds move more quickly in the cold air. Combined with snowy ground, frozen surfaces, and barren landscapes, you can capture all sorts of dramatic moments in one photo shoot.
- Sunrises and sunsets. Winter sunrises and sunsets last longer, offering a broader window in which to shoot these colorful, ever-changing moments. Side-lighting during these times is particularly dramatic, enhancing contours and adding depth. Look for opportunities to shoot landscapes and subjects lit from this angle.
- Unique winter features. Snow, icicles, frost: these winter features all reflect color and distort viewpoints in interesting ways. Frame your shots around the kinds of features that you can only find in winter to create a seasonal and unique photo.
Discover some cool editing tips.
Your photoshoot temperatures aren't the only thing that's cool. Explore more ways to make your photography even cooler. And, while you’re at it, learn more about how you can use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to edit brilliant winter photos.