Winter Photography Tips

Silver SnowWinter can be a difficult season to photograph. While it can be completely gorgeous outside, the cold and wetness can get to you and your equipment quickly. Here are several tips to make the most of it.  
  1. Layer up! Use warm layers to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. I like wearing wool glove liners underneath my thicker gloves, so I can take the thicker gloves off when I need to access the controls on my camera.
  2. Avoid Condensation Condensation normally occurs when water vapor collects on a cold surface. When you bring your camera and equipment inside from the cold, vapor will collect on the outside - and maybe the inside of your camera. Water and electronics do not get along. This can be avoided by placing your camera inside a plastic bag and sealing it, before bringing it inside to the hot air. Then, condensation will collect on the bag and not the camera. In addition, the humidity in your breath will cause condensation on most things it hits in the cold. This can fog vision as well as cause moisture in unwanted places.
  3. Bring extra batteries Batteries do not perform well in the cold. To make up for this, bring extra batteries, and keep the extra batteries close to your body heat. When one battery wears out, replace it with a warm battery, and stick the cold one in your pocket again.
  4. Bracket your Shots Bracketing is beneficial so you can have the different exposures of the same photograph to merge later, possibly with HDR. With the large dynamic range (dynamic range = the range from light to dark), this is especially beneficial.
  5. Keep your camera dry When temperatures are colder, the snow will less likely cause problems with your camera, as it is less like rain. However, for wet snow, it is good to use a raincover to protect your camera and lens. Also, regularly check your lens to make sure it is free from little drips of water and snow that spoil your photographs.
  6. Use Flash On many photographs, you will want to use flash, to help balance out the bright snow and fill in the shadows.
  7. Don't wait If the weather is right, don't wait for it to get better; it likely will not. I've lost many possibly good photographs this way.
  8. Compensate Exposure for the snow If using auto exposure in program, auto, or all other camera modes except auto, use exposure compensation of +2/3 to +2 to keep the snow white instead of grey.
  9. Be Careful where you step Don't mess up the snow for future photographs.
  Happy shooting!

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