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Short Introduction To Winter Photography
Truth be told, there is a lot of interesting shots that can be done during the winter. All you need to know is that for every situation there is an appropriate set of settings that you should configure on your camera. To make it clear – this article is written mainly for DSLR users that can manually adjust more (if not all) of their settings since this allows a great amount of flexibility in regards to the end result.
Obviously, you can still use the tips below to use your point-and-shoot camera but you might have some difficulties with getting the same feeling in your photographs.
Now, winter is the season to be jolly – I mean, apart from the cold, there is a lot snow to picture, and December comes with its on set of photo-events. Now, depending on your photo style, you can obtain some really awesome pictures during the winter.
Portraits in the Winter
Now, we all took a portrait at least once in our lives – no doubt about it. But there are a few things you can do during the winter to make them more interesting. One thing you can do is take pictures with people with beanies, or other winter hats. Manually configure your White Balance setting to the point where it gives it a cold-tint (somewhere below 5000K) and you will bring out the best that a winter portrait has to offer – coldness. You could also try contrasting colors with your winter portraits – like a really red shoe in the snow or something along those lines. The custom-set white balance is key here. Also, a large aperture setting (like 1.8 to 3.5) will bring out a beautiful bokeh.
Capture the Best of the Holidays
During Christmas and New Year’s you have a great amount of joy around you. I mean, people are simply happy about the holidays, and it should be a great situation for you to practice your photo-skills. Not only you can build settings with happy people, but you can play around with settings such as Christmas gifts or Christmas-decorated spaces. Now you could again use a large aperture to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful bokeh especially when you want to single out a Christmas tree or an ornament. Not to mention that if you have those little Christmas lights in the back, the bokeh will make them even more interesting. Don’t only picture your family for the holidays – go nuts and make something interesting with your photo skills.
Enjoy New Year’s Fireworks
Seriously, have you seen how beautiful those things look in everybody else’s photos on new year’s day? Wouldn’t you want to have such a photoset? Obviously! Now, rather than spending your time looking at the fireworks on New Year’s, you might as well just take out your camera and start shooting at the sky. What are the things you need to remember at this point? Well, it is recommended to use a tripod at this point. While you will not be using incredibly long shutter speeds, you will be using somewhat longer-than-usual shutter speeds. The thing is, the shorter the time, the less interesting the effect is. If you want your firework to seem really full you might as well consider a shutter speed of at least 3s – based on this, you can improve your skill and start choosing it on your own. Also, remember that if you are using slower shutter speeds, it’s best to keep your ISO number as lower as possible since you don’t want to add to the graininess.
Take Advantage of the Landscape
Have you looked out that window? Can you imagine how beautiful the setting is in the mountains? If you really want to capture something interesting during the winter, you might as well just go to a winter resort somewhere and start shooting everything – because during the winter, the mountains look simply beautiful, regardless of whether they’re gently caressed by the sun, or covered in a lot of fog. You might even want to try to do a photo-shoot when the mountains are somewhat covered in fog for a more dramatic effect, for a effect similar to “a cruel taste of winter”. But for the best image, it would be interesting to use a wide lens, to capture as much as you can from that setting – something along the lines of 10-20mm (even if 20mm is actually a bit too narrow for what you want to portray). An urban winter landscape can also be interesting, but you have to be very careful when putting together the elements of your image, since you might end up with something rather dull.
Go For Contrasts
Another interesting thing you could try out, is the contrast between warm and cold. For example, you could shoot your portraits inside a coffeehouse, while also portraying the incredible cold outside, the snow and so on. The same can be done with indoor nudes, near a large window, showing again the coldness. You have to think of the contrasts, in terms of warm and cold.