Taking photos when it's cold outside can produce beautiful results. Are you planning to head out into nature soon? Then we have nine tips for you. This way, you can be sure that you are well prepared and are going to take the most beautiful photos.
Tip 1: adjust your exposure accordingly
When there is too much white in your view (because of snow), your camera will want to underexpose the photo. This is because the exposure meter is set to 18% grey by default. To prevent the white in your photo from becoming too grey, you should generally overexpose between 0.5 and 1.5 stops. As not all cameras respond to this situation, it is important that you check the exposure and adjust it accordingly before you start taking photos.
Tip 2: create photos with a polarising filter
A polarising filter will bring out more details in your photo. As the filter prevents reflections, it takes away glare and increases the contrast. Additionally, a polarising filter makes the colours more saturated. The filter also protects the lens of your camera. In short: a polarising filter is a must-have for winter photography.
Tip 3: use a sturdy tripod
Most people start to shiver if they have been out in the cold for a while. This could cause blurriness in your photos. By using a tripod, you can prevent this and also take more time to determine your composition. To guarantee steadiness, a tripod with three legs is the best choice. There are many tripods that offer steadiness and are suitable for photographing in the snow. Have a look at our tripods here.
Tip 4: use a cable release
In addition to a tripod, you can also use a cable release to prevent blurry photos. A cable release allows you to operate your camera remotely. There is no need to press the shutter release button on your camera. Using a cable release ads even more stability to your camera and guarantees you will take sharp photos. Alternatively, you could choose to make use of the electronic front curtain shutter function (provided your camera supports this function).
Tip 5: turn off image stabilisation
Image stabilisation is not necessary if you are using a tripod. The stabilisation motor can cause unnecessary vibrations when switched on, which causes a blurry image. That is why it is best to turn it off. Some lenses have a built-in image stabiliser. Canon calls this the IS (Image Stabilizer), Sony the OSS (Optical Steady Shot) and Nikon the VR (Vibration Reduction). Before you start taking photos, verify whether this is turned on.
Tip 6: protect your camera
Moisture and electronics to not play well together. In addition to rain or snow, your camera can suffer from condensation. Sudden changes in temperature can also cause condensation on your camera, as well as inside your camera. For this reason, it is better to leave the camera in the bag for a while after you get home, so it can slowly adjust to the temperature. Similarly, you should never blow anything off your camera using your breath. In cold temperatures, the moisture in your breath can turn into frost. If you keep all this in mind, you can prevent expensive damage!
Tip 7: use the right protection
Are you going out in the rain or snow? Then it's best to cover your camera with a rain cover to keep it dry. Additionally, a good camera bag can offer added protection for your camera as well. It is even possible to protect your camera bag from moisture, for instance, by using a moisture absorbing Silica Gel Box.
Tip 8: consider macro photography
You might not think to do macro photography in the winter. And yet, the winter is ideal for macro photos. Imagine spider webs, these look totally different in wintery conditions. Is it snowing? Then you're even more in luck. This is the perfect situation for taking photos of the snowflakes. Check out our macro lenses here.
Tip 9: change perspective
If you think about winter sports, you probably think of speed, action and snow. Taking the perfect action shot isn't something anyone can do easily. Make it easier by using an action cam, such as the GoPro Hero 6. This GoPro easily attaches to your skis, snowboard or helmet. The perspective gives your shots a wow-factor and will allow you to relive your snow vacation again and again.
Go out and experiment with your camera in the beautiful wintery world. Take good care of yourself and wear warm shoes and clothes. But above all, treat yourself to a nice cup of hot chocolate (with whipped cream), tea or coffee when you get back!
Enjoy taking those wintery shots!