Winter landscape photography certainly makes for some of the most beautiful shots. However, it is important to be well prepared and keep safety in mind before going out to shoot.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips to take amazing landscape photos in winter.
1. Preparing for Winter Landscape Photography
You must ensure that you are looking at the weather forecast before heading out, and prepare the appropriate attire based on that. Pay close attention to not only the temperature but also the humidity and wind speed.
These play a major role in influencing the perceived temperature, which is likely to be much lower than the actual reported temperature. Wind speed can also have an effect on the quality of your photographs.
2. Key Equipment
Some of the best shots of a winter landscape can be got around half an hour before sunrise, with beautiful pink light from the rising sun dancing on the clouds.
However, this is also the time when the temperatures can be terribly low. It is absolutely essential that you carry the proper clothing to protect yourself. Here is a list of equipment that you might want to carry along:
- Multiple layers of clothing
- Waterproof shoes
- Two pairs of gloves, one thin and one thick
- A thick headcap
- Batteries drain a lot quicker when the temperature is low. Make sure that you carry several spare batteries that are fully charged.
- A tripod; ensure that you have some material wrapped around the legs of your tripod so that you can move it around easily. (Don’t grab the metal with your bare hands!)
3. Winter Landscape Photography Gear
Your camera and lenses can get affected by the cold quite easily. If you abruptly move a camera from a warmer area, say your car, to a cold space, it can create condensation.
In extreme cases, your lens can completely freeze! The best way to handle this is by keeping your camera in the bag until you step outside, avoiding the condensation. Moreover, make sure that you don’t breathe on top of the lens.
4. Winter Landscape Photography Composition
Your scenes are going to be mostly covered in snow, with light bouncing off the surface beautifully. So, try and let the light guide your composition. Snowy foliage can be made to look wonderful using backlighting, with the sun behind your subject. You can also try and capture the glint of sunlight on snowflakes.
If the sun is hidden behind clouds, you can use it as an opportunity to capture the textures and patterns in the snow. Look for interesting lines and patterns, and subjects that have a good amount of contrast from the background. These elements can make your shots stand out. You can also be on the lookout for splashes of color.
5. Camera Settings for Winter Landscape Photography
The way you use your camera settings can elevate a mediocre shot to one that is marvelous. Here are a few tips you can use to take your winter landscape photography to the next level!
Aperture: Use a small aperture for creamy background blur, and a larger one for a crisp scene.
Exposure: You can use different shutter speeds to get unique effects. If it’s snowing, you can choose to go for a faster shutter speed to capture each flake in all its beauty. Or you may choose to use a slower shutter speed, and get a blurry streak of snow. Either of these can be great effects that you can use to add a lot of character to your shot.
White Balance: While the exposure does get affected a lot by winter scenes, it is not alone in that regard. The white balance also gets thrown off quite significantly, and it is essential that you try and keep it as true to the subject as possible. Failing to do so can completely remove the cool and frigid feel of the image that is so characteristic of winter landscapes.
6. Post Processing for Winter Landscape Photography
There is a simple way to get great looking pics with post-processing. First, start off with adjusting the white balance, aiming for a natural, cool look. Lowering the exposure a bit can also help.
You can increase the clarity of the images to give a sharp look, matching the wintery feel of the scene. Finally, keep in mind that you don’t want to oversaturate your image. It never looks as good as you think it would!
A scene blanketed in snow has long since been amongst the most coveted settings for photographers. We hope this article has given you the confidence to go and shoot some incredible winter landscape photography pictures.