Winning Shots For Wonderful Winter Landscapes
Taking amazing and high-quality photos is tricky at the best of times and trying to do it in winter can just make it even more difficult. When you’re bundled up into as many layers as possible and trying to operate your camera with frozen fingers, finding the inspiration to spend time outdoors to take photos can be a challenge
It is even more of a problem when everything looks so boringly white and plain, but within that blandness is always some magical winter beauty just waiting to be captured. Photography classes and photography workshops for teens are perfect for teaching you how to shoot beautiful pictures no matter the weather.
When you know what you are doing, winter can actually be one of the best times for getting outside an expanding your photographic portfolio. If snow has covered the ground in a blanket of glistening white, even the most familiar of surroundings can suddenly have a completely different look and perspective.
However, every photographer knows that winter presents its own challenges that you normally don’t have to deal with throughout the rest of the year. Online photography classes can be excellent for teaching budding photographers the skills they need to deal with these difficult circumstances, or photography workshops for teens like Capturing Winter can give a hands-on learning experience. If you are planning on braving the cold to capture winter at its finest, there are a few tips and tricks to bear in mind while you’re shooting.
Look Out For Landscapes
Explore your area and look for stunning landscapes to capture in all their winter glory. Areas you know well can look entirely different in frost and snow, so go for a walk and see where is looking lovely in the winter.
Try to get up high and look down to get a lot of the landscape in the scene, while also considering where your horizon line is. Remember the rule of thirds to keep your image well balanced and interesting. If you are shooting a wintery landscape with vast white areas, you will often need some contrast to bring the scene to life. When no contrasting colours are naturally in the view, consider incorporating a bright scarf or sledge to bring some colour to your photo.
Lillie’s Top Tips: Taking vast landscape photos isn’t always easy, and sometimes certain aspects of the image might be out of focus. Use a landscape setting or a wide aperture like f/11-16 to ensure everything is properly in focus.
Consider Your Lighting
Dealing with winter lighting can be difficult when the sun is shining it can be a harsh light, and when the days are dull, the scenery can look very uninspiring. Shadows can sometimes cause problems in winter landscapes, as the shadows can be strong and long if the sun is bright and low.
However, shadows don’t always have to be an issue in photography, and some photography classes will teach you how best to use these shadows to enhance your images beautifully. The Shadows, Shapes and Lines photography workshops for teens are perfect for learning how various shadows can be used to compliment your photographs.
Another common lighting issue with winter photography is that the days are much shorter than other times of the year. You have much less time to capture your images before the sun begins to set. Try to plan your photoshoots for when it is lightest in order to get the best possible lighting in your images.
Lillie’ Top Tips: Be quick when capturing your scenes, winter lighting changes rapidly and you won’t have much time to capture many images in the same light. If you want a collection of images in the same lighting, make sure you work quickly before the light changes.
Fix Your White Balance
If you are photographing snow, getting the white balance right can be really difficult. In most cases, snow heads to the blue side of the colour spectrum which can cause some issues in your images. While white balance can be adjusted after the fact, sometimes it is better to get everything correct in camera. Use the flash setting when taking a photo with a lot of snow, as this will compensate for the blue tinge and warm up your image.
Bear in mind that if you try to resolve all the blue, it can instead leave a yellow cast which is not what you want. A slight blue cast with some natural highlights will give you a well-balanced image.
Getting exposure right in winter can also be very tricky, as cameras will try to base their exposure on neutral tones or greys. If your landscape is filled with white, it can dominate your cameras exposure reading and result in a dull grey finish. Overexposing your images slightly can fix this issue but be cautious not to overexpose too much as you can end up losing precious detail.
Lillie’s Top Tips: Try photographing winter landscapes in black and white as well as colour for a different finish. A nice wintery scene can often look better in black and white than full colour. Photography classes like Black and White Photography can teach you everything you need to know about capturing beautiful black and white photos.
Try Something Different
The beauty of winter photos is that you can try out some new techniques and looks in the same landscapes that you use all year round, but get a completely different finish. Making small, subtle changes to your photographs can make a big difference to the final finish, and these small changes are the sort of things that you can learn about from online photography classes and photography workshops for teens.
Try holding the camera vertically instead of horizontally to switch up a traditional landscape photo, or explore the different angles available within your scene. Don’t try and replicate a photo you have seen, instead look for a new perspective to make your photographs unique.
Lillie’s Top Tips: Think about how you are framing your winter landscape in the shot. It can be effective to look for frames within a frame, such as through tree branches or other aspects of the scenery.