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Can’t-Miss Tips for Shooting in the Snow

Can’t-Miss Tips for Shooting in the Snow

Just because winter is here doesn’t mean that you have to pack up your camera! There are plenty of exciting photo opportunities just waiting to be captured especially once the snow starts falling. If you’re brave enough to step outside, you’ll find that there’s a whole new world that awaits you. Here are some tips for capturing amazing wintertime images in the snow!

Bring the Right Gear
While you’re out in the elements, you’ll want to be careful changing your lenses. Doing so can trap condensation inside your camera. If you’re not sure which one to bring, consider a zoom lens from, which will give you a range of focal lengths to choose from. Don’t forget to place a UV filter on your lens to protect it from moisture and minor dings. You’ll also want to bring a lens hood to help prevent lens flare that is common when photographing highly reflective snow. A polarizing filter will help cut through glare and darken bright skies. Finally, protect your camera from a sudden burst of flurries with a waterproof camera cover.

Look for Color
While the snowy wonderland looks amazing in-person, your camera will render all of that white stuff as a large, boring expanse of white. To help add interest to your compositions, look for color to help break up some of the white. A house or tree, or even boulders, if you’re shooting landscapes, or some berries or pinecones if you’re capturing nature images. If you’re taking portraits, be sure to have your subjects wear bold, vibrant colors.

Capture the Snowflakes
If you’re lucky enough to get caught during a snowfall, consider capturing the falling flakes. Use a fast shutter speed, 1/250th of a second is a good place to start. This will allow you to freeze the action, and capture the falling snow. Using an off-camera flash from can also help to illuminate the falling flakes. If you’d rather not have snowflakes in your images, use a tripod and a slow shutter speed to blur them.

snow photography

Adjust Your White Balance
Snow looks white to us, but it’s blue to your camera. If a blue tint is not what you’re going for, set your white balance when you arrive on-location. Simply point your camera at a patch of clean snow and adjust your white balance based on the reading.

snow photography


Adjust Your Exposure
When shooting snowy scenes, your camera’s meter can easily get confused by all of the white stuff, and you may need to adjust your exposure. Set your exposure compensation to at least +1 on an overcast day. This will help prevent your snow from looking too dark.

Blur the Background
You may want to consider blurring out the background to prevent bare trees and other distractions from competing with your subject. Use a large aperture to let in more light. This will blur the background, drawing your subject into focus.

Snow photography

Shoot in RAW
When shooting snow, it can be difficult to get the exposure and color temperature right. Shooting in RAW will allow you to salvage those images that are composed properly, but lacking in terms of exposure or white balance. The weather outside might be frightful, but there’s no reason to pack up your camera and wait until spring. Winter can be a great time to capture some exciting images!
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