Do your winter images look grey and boring? Use these 7 great tips to get stunning shots.
- Techie issues First of all, SHOOT IN RAW. It will capture so much more detail in the white highlights of the snow and in the bluer shadows. You can then easily change the white balance to suit the scene and get rid of the too blue cast. Secondly, SHOOT IN MANUAL if you can and set your ISO to manual too. That way you can get push the boundaries for shutter speed and depth of field with less noise. Your photographs will go up to another level if you master this, believe me! Thirdly, spot metre and focus so you decide what you want to draw the eye to. With snow scenes you can usually get a great depth of field of about f16 for landscapes and if you focus about 2/3rds in your whole picture will be sharp. If you have a distracting background or foreground, set DOF to f5.6 or lower and focus on the subject you want to showcase. So here are the tips which will work whether you use a top end DSLR camera or a phone.
- Colour An injection of colour in a snow scene can look amazing. Look for vibrant subjects such as postboxes, red jackets, robins, whatever your love. Colours that are at the opposite end of blue on the colour wheel look extra good, so any of the warm bright colours such as red, pink, deep ochres etc.
- Minimalist Scenes. Use the beauty of pure newly fallen snow to create a stunningly simple image. Suitable subjects could be a tree, a building, a rock, or in my example a telegraph pole. Who would have thought that would make a great picture.
- Tell a story. If you want to show the snow falling, get your tripod out and set the shutter speed to 1/50 secs or less.
- Sunrise. A perfect time for snow photography. There is fresh snow, there is often mist and the low sun accentuates any patterns in the snow. You can take beautiful sunburst photos of the sun peeping through the trees. If you have a pink sunrise to go with it you have hit the jackpot!
- Trees The skeletons of trees look spectacular against the snow. If you get up early they will be frosted or laden with snow which also looks great.
- Details. Use backlighting and a macro lens to make plants and leaves look out of this world. Ice crystals and icicles are also brilliant subjects.
It’s my favourite time of year, get out there with warm mitts with fingers that you can open out, waterproof boots and a really warm waterproof coat – and enjoy yourself. You won’t even feel the cold!