Photographing Snow – 10 Killer Tips for Beginners

Photographing Snow – It’s Time to Up Your Game with a Few Basic Tips

Norwich Commercial Photography - Lee Blanchflower Limited

Photographing Snow! We’re at the one time of the year where we might see a few flakes for a day or so in the UK. Everybody who owns a camera is out on the streets documenting the ten snowflakes that may jut settle if the rain holds off for long enough. Photographing snow is magical stuff. For those of us who are nearly 50, it brings back memories of proper snowfalls. Cars buried, with two feet of ice on top. Having to walk to school with wellington boots that were shorter than the snow we were walking in. Photographing the white stuff is fabulous but the following tips ‘should’ help you on your way to shooting better snow. You may think some oif these are basic and yes, common sense should provail, but it’s amazing the amount of people who simply rush out with a camera and then realise they should have prepped for this special time.

Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners

Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners

1. Clothing – It’s the Basics for Photographing Snow

So you’ve bundled up under appropriate layers, keep warm. Waterproof shoes and a hat are a must.Wearing the right gloves or mittens is super important for anyone Photographing snow. Choosing gloves with removable fingertips (shooting gloves are a great example) will allow your fingers to adjust your settings with ease before covering them back up again. There’s nothing worse than going out on location and being cold. It will cutdown your shoot time and make you miserable. it will reflect in the quality of your photographs, because you’ll be more interested in warm up than you will in the subject you’re planning to shoot. A happy photographer will produce better photographs. Fact!

Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners

Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners

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2. Your Camera is your friend – Look after it!

If you’re shooting with a professional camera, it will undoubtedly work better in extreme conditions. Sand and dust are a nightmare if they get inside your camera, but snow and water also rate as a camera killer once they hit your mirrors and sensor. Once your camera is out, keep the lens cap on when not in use. It’s going to protect the front elements of your lens. Using a high-performance prime lens removes the need to have to change lenses but you may feel that you are restricted whenPhotographing Snow by not using a zoom lens. It will give you a range of focal lengths without compromising your gear.

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Norwich Commercial Photography - Lee Blanchflower Limited

Norwich Commercial Photography - Lee Blanchflower Limited

3. Condensation

Condensation will form on your lens and camera mirror / sensor when you enter big temperature changes or Big humidity changes. When your camera reacts to these changes (and it’s going top happen.. It’s the nature of the beast) condensation forms as the temperature regulates resulting in panic, a steamed up camera and periods of inactivity while you’re trying to rectify the problemDon’t panic! Condensation won’t destroy your camera or lens.  you should definitely take some easy steps to prevent this from becoming a habit. Too many cycles can begin to wear on your gear, especially on the internal mechanisms. If you ned to change a lens you WILL RISK condensation being trapped inside your camera body. A zoom lens will give you a range of focal lengths without compromising your gear. A UV Filter is an invaluable investment for lens protection throughout the year.

Too late! My camera is already Misted up!

If you have condensation on your camera already, follow these steps:

  • Don’t wipe the lens! This will simply give your photoraphs streaks you will have to remove from your glass or filter. The condensation is already on the lens or sensor so just have to let it vanish of it’s own accord.
  • Don’t detach the lens if it’s already attached – leave your camera be. You do not want to introduce more condensation to the other end of your lens or the internals of your camera.
  • Put it in an airtight bag and get as much air out of it as you can. It would also help to put something in the bag to wick moisture away – such as a towel or preferably uncooked rice.
  • Wait until the camera comes up to temperature and all condensation has dissipated.

For severe cases where your camera is still taking foggy-looking photos, you may have to work on this for several days. Instead of a towel, it would be better to place silica gel packs in the plastic bag to help dry out all the interior components. Make sure you keep the bag airtight though so that the gel packs wick the moisture from the camera and not the air itself. It’s best to avoid condensation altogether, but it’s only the most severe cases where much moisture and water has entered the camera will there be any permanent damage

Norwich Commercial Photography - Lee Blanchflower Limited

4. Exposing for snow – The most important Tip photographing snow is OVEREXPOSE. 

(You heard it and it’s not a typo. How is that possible? Snow is so bright that surely you’re going to lose all of your  detail) Your camera is trying to find 18% grey (That’s another huge theory blog so I’m not even going to contemplate going into this.)  Light meters want to make everything medium bright and you want the snow in your pictures to be beautiful white. It’s always best to shoot in manual simply because it gives you so much flexibility but if you’;re only used to shooting in Auto Mode then ideally you need to increase brightness so up the exposure using your exposure compensation button. I would estimate that an increase of  about 1/1/2 stops of light.  Photographing Snow can end up as a dull grey photos if you’re not careful.

5. Black & White

This one is pretty straight forward.  There’s often little to be gained by photographing snow in colour. In fCt, you van create some amazing snow imagery by experimenting with shadows, which brings us onto our next Tip.

6. Play with a Low Sun

Photographing Snow on a Sunny Day can create some amazing imagery. The sun in winter sits so low that shadows appear huge. Pick wooded areas or buildings to frame your shots and bring shadows into play for spectacular results.

7. Shoot RAW

Shoot in raw format. As a beginner, Photographing Snow can be difficult in an environment full of reflective, white snow. It can be a hard subject matter to nail first time. can be tricky. Raw images allow you to safely adjust your settings and give much more flexibility that shooting in JPEG.

Photographing Snow. Photography Tips for Beginners

Norwich Commercial Photography - Lee Blanchflower Limited

Situated in the centre of Norwich and covering assignments throughout the UK, the Lee Blanchflower Ltd creative team deliver high quality commercial photographs, corporate film production & licensed drone footage to a really diverse range of businesses. After seven years of hard work in the industry trading as  Blanc Creative, we thought it was about time that we made things a little more transparent across our business and as a result, Lee Blanchflower Ltd was born. We have to say that our attention to detail and epic customer service hasn’t changed, nor has our client base. We work solely in the commercial sector with sole traders, start-ups, established businesses, Advertising Agencies & International Press covering everything from PR, Editorial work, Film Production and Licensed Drone operations.  What you won’t find, are wedding photographs, pet photography or family portraits.  We seriously pride ourselves as being “people’ people and our unique selling point is transparency. Our favourable pricing structures are visible for every one of our services, so you won’t find  any nasty surprises once you’ve decided to book an assignment.




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