I used to relish getting out in the cold and snow. But, there is a limit to how much windchill and wind I’ll tolerate.

Maybe that makes me not a ‘real’ or ‘serious’ photographer, I’m OK with that. It doesn’t mean that I stop creating though. There are always ways to do things it means you just have to be creative.

Challenge yourself

If you’re stuck inside, not a fan of winter or for some other reason just can’t get out to your favorite local spot to photograph the snow, don’t just give up. Do something different. I’ve written about this before.

There are many ways we can challenge ourselves. Today, let’s just take photos from inside, through the windows. That’s crazy, isn’t it? Won’t you have spots from dirty windows, weird moire from screens, not really sharp images because you’re shooting at an angle through more than one layer of glass?

Embrace the outcome

Let go of technicality. Let go of perfection. Let go of tack sharp images. Seriously, I know it can be difficult for some of you but letting go of all of that can free you up to just be creative. When you’re not thinking about what settings, how best to photograph something, your mind will start seeing things in a different way. You may start noticing details you never would have if you’d been focused on the dials and buttons on your camera.

If you must know, these images were all shot on my Canon 6D with the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3mm.

One of the favorite exercises given to me by a mentor of mine, Ron Clifford, is what he calls auto yoga. You go out (I know, we’re staying in today but it is relevant), put your camera in Auto mode and shoot. No thoughts of the depth of field, sharpness, focus, exposure or anything but what your subject is and how you are framing it.

Play and have fun in or out of the snow

These two words are part of my photography vocabulary. I ask the question “what if?” a lot as well. What happens if I try this? Shoot through the window? Photograph through the screen? You really can be amazed at what outcomes you get sometimes that you may actually love.

This extends into post-processing. Every image in this article was edited in less than two minutes (I’m not patient.) A preset here, a slider there, what happens if I try this hue/more black, less texture, etc.

Out of the box snow photos

Oh right, that was the point of this article, wasn’t it? I took the majority of these images while standing toasty warm inside my house. Through the window, through the screen. There are a few (noted in the captions) that I opened the front door for. That works too and you don’t have to freeze your toes off.

While this article was about creating out of the box snow photos, you can apply these principles to any subject. Play, get creative. Put that box that you tend to operate in into the trash. Go out and create with no restraints. If it’s cold, just stay in and create.