Preserving the memories of winter can be a bit tricky. Freezing temperatures and the blinding sun reflecting off the snow don’t help.
Whether you have an expensive DSLR with all the bells and whistles or a simple smartphone camera, pictures outside in the snow is no walk in the park. Below I have three easy tips to help you capture snow a little easier.
Keep your camera in the cold
The first thing I recommend is to keep your camera cold. I know this might go against your first instinct to keep your camera warm, but that is a bad idea.
When your camera has been in a warmer environment, as soon as it gets into the cold, condensation will start to gather. Oftentimes, this fogs up the lens to the point you can’t see anything. Ease into changing temperatures, and keep your camera at the same temperature as outside to ensure condensation won’t occur.
Use manual mode
Sometimes our cameras want to automatically dial the exposure down when outside shooting snow. This can result in the snow looking gray. To counter that set your camera to manual mode and slightly overexpose your image a little. I recommend exposing for whatever you want people to focus on in your image — whether that’s a person or a tree line.
In the winter, your photos often end up with a flare from the sun. The snow is so reflective — it’s going to happen. That’s why I recommend using a lens hood, for two reasons really. One, it is going to help reduce lens flares. And two, it will help keep the snow off your lens … both of which are very helpful while outside in the snow.
Don’t forget your winter gear
The last tip I’ll leave you with is this … invest in nice gloves. Winters here in Utah can be bitter cold. Trying to press a button on my tiny Lumix GX9 (B&H | Amazon) with massive gloves or when I have lost all feeling in my digits is no easy task. I love The Heat Company 2 Softshell Mittens/Gloves. They are completely insulated and wind and water resistant.
They even have a goatskin palm making it easy to grip things. I would also recommend wearing gloves that are touchscreen-compatible or fingerless if you are shooting with a smartphone, or if your DSLR has a touch screen.