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Monday, February 18, 2013

7 Tips to Take Beautiful Snow Photographs.

I thought I'd write more, here on my blog, about art and photography. Nothing too technical or complicated, just tips and ideas on how to perfect your abilities.

The other day, while I was out taking photographs, this post came to mind. A snow-dusted, magical landscape is always a joy for the soul, and I encourage you to wrap up in sweaters and get outside!

My 7 tips to capture the magic are:

1. Keep a heart full of wonder! This is the most important tip ever, in my opinion, to take great shots! Do not take anything for granted, look at everything with new eyes and from a different perspective. Notice every detail, the lights, the textures and color combinations around you.

"Winter Wonderland".

Our own Narnia (our old garden) from the windows.
2. Keep warm feet! This may sound silly while speaking of photography, but having cold and wet feet won't allow you to take great pictures. Good waterproof boots or wellies (paired with thick woolen socks) are great. Just be sure to not wear wellies if the ground is slippery.

3. Same thing for comfortable clothes- you may find yourself knee- deep in snow (as I have been taking these images), camera in hand, maybe with snowflakes falling, and the last thing you need is wearing something impractical or feeling cold and wet. Do wear a woollen undershirt (NOT cotton!) as first layer against your skin. A hat is recommended too.

Another shot taken in our garden.
Love the wrought iron garden set covered in loots of snow!
4. Clean your lens + viewfinder often. Keep a soft towel or two (those you use to clean sunglasses) in your pocket, and use it often. After a blizzard there's usually lots of snow on the trees, which may fall down out of the blue over your head + camera (see point #1, better to wear a hat!).

Snow falling down from the trees onto my camera and head!
5. Cover your camera body with a plastic bag, especially if it's snowing. It avoids that the delicate electronic parts of your camera gear get wet. If it's really cold outside, remember to let the camera "adapt" to the low temperatures, leaving it in your car for a while before taking it out in a freezing environment.

6. Make use of "A" mode (Aperture Priority). This mode enables manual control of the aperture, while shutter speed is calculated automathically by the camera. This mode is very useful in landscaping photography. If you don't feel comfortable to shoot in A mode, or use a point and shoot camera, choose your ISO extra carefully (from 400 to 800+ usually works, but check with a few shots when you're on location).

It was dark in this spot under the trees- with a Auto/Scene Mode I wouldn't have been able to have enough light.

"A" mode helps to perceive depth of field.
7. Look for interesting spots, where color adds contrast to the white of snow. An endless white blanket is not that interesting. A trail in the soft snow, a picket fence, trees, a house or portion of it, etc. are good things to incorporate in your shots.

My Kim loved the snow and our scented fir trees! Her golden fur creates a beautiful contrast against the white.

The color combo (yellow + gray + candid white) is very effective in this shot!
And most importantly... have fun!!
Monica x

1 comment:

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