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Tips to improve your winter Photography Skills

Tips to improve your winter Photography Skills

Taking winter photos may seem like a daunting task. After all, taking photos after a fresh snowfall, especially snowy landscapes can prove to be things of beauty. When taking winter landscape photography it is important to remember that you will most likely be dealing with cold temperatures and harsher lighting conditions. Therefore a nice pair of over the counter hand warmers which usually last about 8-10 hours would be very helpful when taking snow photography. Taking photographs and video recordings in cold weather may put stress on your camera, so check to make sure that all of your camera gear is stowed away properly in a camera bag before and after usage.

Another awesome winter scene that we love to photograph is that of a gorgeous blue sky after a snowstorm. Some snowflakes may still be coming down for added beauty in your image. These snowy scenes make for picturesque landscape photography, and with the proper camera settings, these exposures should shine through with fantastic color vibrancy, sharpness and accuracy to detail. We will explore in further detail in our winter photography tips on how to set your camera up for the perfect shot. Get ready for an unbeatable photoshoot with some photography ideas we will provide, to get the most out of your digital camera, even in the harsh lighting conditions of winter photography.


Photography Ideas

When shooting winter photography, there are several key factors to keep in mind which can help you ensure that you get the right exposure compensation with hopefully minimal photoshop needed.

  1. Don’t overexpose image. Keep watch on your histogram of photos taken to review and ensure your photos are have consistent good exposure.

  2. You can use metering say “SPOT Metering” or center metering can still be done when the camera is set to manual mode. However, autofocus may be more suitable to handling this, especially for beginners.

  3. Try some abstract photography which will focus on the coloring of the white snow against the background which it is show against. These may for some beautiful winter weather shots. You can also focus on the negative spaces in your exposure which may just focus on the minimalistic aspect of snow photography.

  4. Don’t be afraid to use Lightroom or another post-processing software to help put the finishing touched on your image.

  5. Place your camera in a airtight plastic bag inside your camera bag for added protection against the cold temperatures and harsh winter elements.

  6. Learn more about winter portrait photography. If you are a beginner looking to pursue your career in photography, than you will need to know how to properly shoot portrait photographs. These are skills that are inherent in a winter portrait photographer, who for example may be shooting a wedding where the alter is outdoors even in the cold temperatures.

  7. Shoot your images and video recordings the Golden Hour. The golden hour is the period of time during the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset times when the color of the sky goes from red and orange to yellow. The beauty of this after a snowfall with fresh snow lining the street, trees and lawns make for some jaw dropping winter photography.

  8. You can also try shooting your images during the “Blue Hour”. The blue hour is the time of day immediately before sunrise and after sunset where the sky takes on a blue hue. Photographing the blue sky accompanied with freshly lined snowy streets will make for some great landscape photography.

  9. Try setting the camera in manual mode for additional control over your camera settings. Test your hand at working the shutter speed on your camera. A quick shutter release will allow for less light to enter the image whereas a slower shutter speed allows for more natural and ambient light to enter the frame. So if there is an abundance of ambient light reflecting off the snow a quicker shutter release would be more appropriate.

  10. Since camera batteries are typically Lithium-Ion, there would be a usual degradation in the battery life on your camera over time in general. When dealing with extreme cold temperatures, battery performance may be even further affected. That is why we recommend having spare batteries, especially for those longer photoshoots. You don’t want to run into an issue where you are in the middle of some great photography and have to stop because your camera battery died. We also recommend a portable power bank to charge on the go. Once you have identified what battery your specific camera takes, get out there and pick up some extra batteries.

  11. Use a light meter. A light meter can detect the amount of light hitting either the camera sensor or the image subject. By following the information provided by the light meter, you can select the the settings recommended covering (aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance). Use this when shooting in manual mode.

  12. Test your photo taking ability by shooting snowy scenes at night when your are dealing with low light conditions. Use a longer or slower shutter speed to allow for as much ambient light to enter the frame.

  13. Add a tripod such as the Deco Photo 12-Inch Compact Rubberized Spider Tripod & Support, Large. This will help with camera stabilization and eliminate blur and shake often seen with handheld photography. With it’s 360 degree flexible legs and feet, you can even wrap the tripod around a post, railing or even a tree to get the best angle for your shot.

  14. Attach a filter to your great DSLR camera for additional light adjustment entering the scene. This gives the user more control over what they want to highlight in their exposure. There are several different kinds of camera filters. We love the General Brand 67mm UV, Polarizer & FLD Deluxe Filter kit (set of 3 + carrying case). This kit comes with a polarizing filter, s UV or ultraviolet light filter and an FLD filter which helps correct fluorescent lighting exposures. The UV filter will help protect your lens from moisture, scratches, and damage acting as a sort of lens hood in that regard.

  15. Finally shooting in autofocus mode is great for beginners and enthusiasts alike. However, if you want the most control over your camera settings as we previously mentioned try shooting in manual mode. Practice makes perfect when learning the ins and outs of shooting in manual mode.



The DSLR camera which we feel is a great starter for winter photography and has features that more highly priced competitors have for their models is the Sony a6400 Mirrorless APS-C Interchangeable-Lens Camera. Here are some of the specs that we love about this camera:

  • An extremely powerful 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS image sensor and latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor.

  • Unreal autofocus system with 425 phase detection points which will help in capturing the image of the subject in great detail.

  • Very precise and accurate tracking of subjects on the move without loss of image detail.

  • Rated for 116 JPEG shots or 46 shots in RAW shots when using continuous shooting. So you get lots of exposures to chose from.

  • All new and improved AI based subject recognition for fantastic eye and facial tracking.

  • Super 35mm format recording with 2.4x oversampling gives you 4K movies (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) with outstanding image quality. So feel free to attach this camera to any peripheral device capable of a 4K resolution and watch your amazing image and video recordings in super high quality.

  • With it’s 180 degree tilting LCD screen the Sony a6400 makes it easier to concentrate on your scene and exposure, and the subject or object you are photographing. The LCD screen gives you that freedom for ease of use and focusing on your subject.

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both present on the Sony a6400, and allow you to connect to peripheral devices with ease and use the Wi-Fi to upload photos and videos to a social media site if you so choose.



Obviously getting the right lens for your needs goes hand in hand with having the right DSLR camera to suit your winter photography well. With a plethora of lenses to choose from, such as general use everyday Prime lenses, to telephoto and zoom lenses, the right one for you is here. It is crucial to bear in mind that each camera manufacturer has their own patented mounting system. Therefore, if you are purchasing a lens from a manufacturer other than your camera’s check to make sure that you purchase the power mounting adapter for compatibility.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on your winter photography journey, utilizing the photography skills that we outlined, coupled with the recommended DSLR camera and camera gear will get you shooting those winter scenes with high quality exposure reproduction.

Stay Warm!

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