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Winter Photography Techniques

As with any aspect with photography, there are a few tricks of the trade that will allow your photographs to be better before you even load them into the computer! Here are a few techniques that will immediately improve the quality of your winter photographyHere are a few tips on how to be prepared for winter shooting! โœ“ SHOOT IN RAW RAW file formats give you the greatest flexibility in post-production and will allow you to easily fix problems that would be hard or even impossible to correct in a JPEG file. RAW files will also give you the ability to change color balance post production, so if your snow is looking a little blue or orange you can make it bright white before even editing the file! Make sure to bring larger memory cards though, because RAW files eat space. โœ“ NEVER DELETE IMAGES IN THE FIELD! Never, never, never delete photos in the field. You will not get an accurate view of the image on the tiny LCD screen. Some of my favorite shots have come from complete accidents! This rule holds true especially for snow shooting! You may think the image is too blown out, but you don't know if it will show up perfectly on computer! โœ“ BE AWARE OF YOUR FOOTPRINTS As youโ€™re walking through the snow, keep what you intend to shoot. Be careful that you do not walk through an area that you hope to include in a future shotโ€ฆunless footprints are the intended purpose of course. โœ“ USE YOUR CAMERAโ€™S MANUAL MODE Snow is bright and can be overpowering for your cameraโ€™s internal light meter. Using your camera in AUTO, or even APERTURE/SHUTTER PRIORITY mode will result in dark images since the camera is reading all of the bright light reflected from the snow and compensating for it. Shooting in MANUAL will allow you to compensate accordingly. A handheld lightmeter will also be very useful in these conditions! Check out the lessons I made about this here http://www.vingle.net/posts/359066 and here http://www.vingle.net/posts/178547 โœ“ SLIGHTLY OVEREXPOSE YOUR IMAGES FOR WHITER SNOW Trust me, they will look better. While it looks beautiful, crisp, and white to the human eye, snow often looks grey even when compensating. Just shoot a little brighter than you normally do and tone it done if you need to! โœ“ USE APERTURE AND SHUTTERSPEED TO HIDE FALLING SNOW Using a low f/stop (large aperture) and a slow shutter while bumping up the ISO you should be able to get rid of falling snow without it showing up in the photograph. Of course, if you want snow flakes then don't follow this advice. โœ“ DONโ€™T PHOTOGRAPH ONLY SNOW; BREAK UP YOUR SHOTS Snow might look great in person, but it's difficult to capture in a photograph. Think of snow as an alternative to grass and go from there!
It's something you don't think about until it's too late! It usually takes you ruining the shot to learn to avoid it! @caricakes
I'm from California and I'll never forget the first time I tried to take a photo of the huge field on my campus in New York that was covered in fresh, untouched snow. I turned around after walking a bit to get a better angle and found that I had ruined the entire scene with my footprints. "Be aware of your footprints" is such a silly but super important tip!
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