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Tips for Snow Photography

Only the ones that live in the places with snowing winters can describe the joy of seeing the snowflakes falling from the sky like crystals. Due to this magical spell, a white carpet spreads all over. The whole scenery is changed as if you have just entered a new dimension. This change also brings a lot of photography opportunities. If your enthusiasm to test your creative skills in snow rises as the winter arrives, then you are exactly at the right spot. In this article, we will extensively discuss all the techniques and tips for snow photography that will surely be informative and effective. Read carefully because shooting in snow can be quite daunting if you do not know what you are doing. Let’s get started.

Manual aperture priority mode:

Firstly, you need to turn on the manual mode on your camera, as it will give you full control over the settings. It will make the process a lot easier in this relatively different environment and let you bring the most out of the scene.

The reason for specifically mentioning the manual aperture priority mode is that in a snowy environment, the aperture will be the most important camera setting. The aperture priority mode lets you manually control the aperture while the camera takes care of both the ISO and shutter speed.

It will also give the creative freedom to focus on the depth of field rather than changing all the settings for each shot.

Shoot in RAW:

The professionals for almost all types of photography always recommend shooting in the RAW format. However, we can consider it compulsory in snow photography to unlock the full potential of the photos during post-processing.

RAW format is an uncompressed format and unlike others, no information is lost. In simpler words, RAW photos give us the most details. The snow will mostly be the brightest part of the photos, so editing the details to push the highlights and create a nice sense of depth will be essential.

Set up the right white balance:

One of the most important tips for snow photography is to set the right white balance. Photographing the snow will probably not give the brightest colors, so we need to be careful here.

If the sun is not shining, then the chances of getting a bluish shade in the snow are quite high. This happens because instead of the bright sunlight, the snow will be reflecting the blue sky. Manually adjust the white balance to get a nice and warmer look. You can either go for the shade preset or make a custom one according to the environment you are shooting in.

Man on a cliff in snow - Tips for Snow Photography

Photo edited in Lightroom.

Use the Histogram - Tips for Snow Photography

The snow will not usually be a colorful scene to shoot. Therefore, with a few colors and shades, we need to be careful with every photograph. The camera LCDs are not capable of showing you a 100% accurate amount of exposure and color due to its limitations. 

The best solution is to use the histogram. The histogram lets you know entirely accurate and specific details about the color and exposure. You will also be able to observe the dynamic ranges of the tones.

The lens filters:

The snow is very reflective. If the sun is out bright, then there is a chance that you might face some complications. We do not include overexposure in this list because it can be easily fixed by manual camera settings such as Shutter speed and ISO. The main challenges will be the light leaks and unwanted blurs.

Including a couple of lens filters such as the ND filter or other kinds of polarizers is recommended. Using a lens hood can also help with unwanted reflections.

Capture the sunsets and sunrises:

Landscape photography is all about the right timing. Choosing the best times of the day will let you capture the most beautiful scenes. For snow photography, the most suitable time is the sunset. Sunsets will provide a great opportunity to capture some beautiful contrast because of the blue hour.  

Similarly, the magical sunrises will also add a spell of their own. So the key point is to go for the time when the sun is not so bright.

Tips for snow photography of landscape

Rain cover for the camera:

As the snow is just water in solid form, it can easily damage the camera when it melts. So don’t forget your rain cover to avoid camera damage.

The snow bokeh - Tips for Snow Photography

Next on the list of the best tips for snow photography is capturing the snow bokeh. The snow falling in the background blurred with a wider aperture will add a great essence of depth. Use a wider aperture ranging from f/1.8- f/2.4 for the best results.

Post-Processing

The final tip is to put some time and effort into the editing process of your photos. Because correct post-processing can totally change the feel of a photo. Use the most advanced editing software preferred by professionals i.e. Photoshop and Lightroom.

Conclusion - Tips for Snow Photography

Snow photography will not be easy at the start. However, if you follow these simple tips and keep practicing, then you will get a hang of it in no time.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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