On this submit, I’m going to share with you plenty of snow pictures ideas that will help you get nice photographs within the snow.

Snowy situations make for some fantastic pictures alternatives. Nevertheless, taking photographs in snow generally is a little bit difficult. That is for plenty of causes, from the brightness of the snow, by to the chilly climate situations that may hamper a digicam’s features. Then in fact it’s a must to think about normal winter points, like ice and chilly, that may make situations difficult for a photographer.

I’ve taken photographs within the snow in areas world wide, from excessive altitude ski resorts by to winter in Nordic international locations like Finland the place the temperature has been under minus 30 levels Celsius / Fahrenheit.

I’ll embody some ideas for getting nice photographs of snowy scenes, the digicam settings you want for snow pictures, some concepts for snow photographs, and a few tips about instructed digicam gear and equipment for snow pictures. Let’s get began.

Suggestions for Taking Pictures In Snow

Listed here are some ideas for getting the very best photographs in snow, no matter your digicam.


Begin with the Composition

No matter sort of digicam you will have and whatever the topic or scene, the composition of your picture ought to all the time be one in all your key issues.

Composition in pictures is all about deciding what will be in your picture, and the way the completely different parts of the picture work collectively. So it’s essential to take into consideration what precisely your picture is of – the topic – and compose round that.

There are many compositional ideas and tips you should utilize to enhance your picture, from issues just like the rule of thirds by to make use of of shade, main traces and so forth. If you happen to’d like some ideas, see my information to composition in pictures to get you began.


Shoot at Blue and Golden Hours

Mild is a key part of pictures. By means of the course of the day, the sunshine modifications in each its path and shade. Within the early morning and late evenings, when the solar is just under the horizon, the sunshine could be very blue and chilly in tone, and this time is called the blue hour.

Simply after the solar rises and earlier than it units, the sunshine could be very yellow and heat in tone, and this era is called the golden hour.

These instances of day are good for pictures typically, however are notably good for capturing snowy scenes. It is because snow could be very reflective, and tends to amplify and replicate mild nicely. So a heat sundown or cool pre-dawn tones can look actually fantastic as a part of a snowy scene.

It’s additionally price preserving in thoughts when planning your snowy pictures shoots that you’ll typically be capturing within the winter season in most locations. Which means the times can be shorter, supplying you with much less time for daytime pictures.

Nevertheless, it does carry the benefit that dawn / sundown are nearer collectively, and you may normally seize the golden and blue hours with out having to rise up actually early or go to mattress actually late. After I’ve finished winter pictures within the artic circle, typically I’ve discovered that the few hours of daylight are all golden on a regular basis, which made for incredible pictures alternatives.



Get the Focus Proper in Snow

One factor you would possibly discover when capturing in snow is that your digicam or smartphone would possibly battle to lock focus, with the autofocus searching backwards and forwards. In a worst case situation, it received’t be capable to auto focus in any respect, and also you received’t be capable to take a photograph. Otherwise you would possibly get an out of focus shot which isn’t usable.

The explanation for that is all the way down to the best way that the majority digicam focus methods work. The main focus operate usually require a contrasting space to give attention to—any space of the scene with contrasting parts. A big expanse of white snow tends to not have a lot distinction, and so the digicam doesn’t have a lot to lock onto.

This situation isn’t particular to snow. You’ll usually have the identical drawback in case you attempt to take an image of a large open blue sky—the digicam has nothing to lock onto.

In each these situations, the answer is to search out one thing apart from a uniform expanse to give attention to. With the case of a blue sky, this could be one thing like a cloud. With snow, it could be a tree, or an individual, a constructing, an animal, or any object that stands out in opposition to the white snow.

You would possibly want to alter the digicam’s focus mode and particularly choose the thing you need it to give attention to so as to get the outcomes you require. So as a substitute of full autofocus, you would possibly change to a single level and focus there.

If you’re nonetheless struggling to get focus utilizing the automated focus system, then examine in case your digicam has a handbook focus possibility. If that’s the case, you should utilize this to over trip the autofocus system and get a pointy picture. Be aware that not all cameras and lenses assist handbook focus. Most DSLR and mirrorless cameras do, however not all compact or smartphones have manul focus.


Use the Publicity Compensation Function for Snow Pictures

One quite common situation that I see when of us on my pictures course ship me questions on snow pictures, is that their photographs are popping out darker than they anticipate, with photographs of snow wanting grey quite than white.

Snow photographs popping out too darkish occurs on a regular basis, however fortunately there’s a easy repair that works throughout just about all cameras and different gadgets.

First, you could be questioning why your snow photographs are popping out too darkish, or are “under-exposed” to make use of the proper pictures time period. The reason being all the way down to the best way {that a} digicam evaluates the sunshine in a scene. To place it in easy phrases, all of the white snow within the scene confuses the digicam, inflicting it to scale back the quantity of sunshine it captures, and due to this fact underexposing your picture.

If you wish to be taught extra about how a digicam works and the ideas of publicity, see my information to publicity in pictures, and my guides to how a DSLR works in addition to how a mirrorless digicam works.

The excellent news is that there’s a easy repair to grey snow in your photographs. All it’s a must to do is use your digicam’s publicity compensation characteristic. This tells the digicam to let extra mild in when taking the photograph, and can end in a brighter picture.

Almost each digicam in the marketplace, together with smartphones, have an publicity compensation possibility. It is going to both be accessible immediately by way of a button on the digicam itself, that appears like “+/-“, or by way of the digicam menu.

If you press the button, you need to be given a scale that runs from damaging numbers to constructive numbers, maybe from -Three to +3, with zero within the center. Any quantity above zero will improve the brightness, any quantity under zero will lower the brightness.

Every full constructive increment of 1 (i.e. from zero to 1 or 2 to 2) will outcome within the picture being twice as vivid.

Every full damaging increment of 1 (i.e. from zero to -1 or -1 to -2) will outcome within the picture being half as vivid.

For snow pictures, rule of thumb is to extend the publicity by “+1”, also called one cease. Then shoot and alter if wanted.

You need to be capable to do that from most capturing modes, though this can range by digicam and gadget. You probably have any points, both search for your digicam handbook, or search the web for “publicity compensation + your digicam mannequin“.

Exposure compensation button


Use a Lens Hood

You probably have a digicam with a detachable lens, like a mirrorless digicam or a DSLR digicam, then it is best to think about using an adjunct often called a lens hood. These are additionally typically referred to as solar hoods.

A lens hood is just an prolonged piece of round plastic that matches onto the tip of the lens, giving it an prolonged look. Normally, the primary cause to make use of a lens hood is to scale back undesirable glare coming into the lens from the perimeters of the shot, which may trigger flares and different picture high quality points in your photographs.

In snow pictures, there’s usually quite a lot of glare because the snow is so vivid, and a lens hood may also help lower down on this, supplying you with larger distinction and cleaner photographs.

Nevertheless, even when it’s not sunny, a lens hood can supply advantages for snow pictures. Primarily, if it’s snowing, a lens hood may also help cease flakes of snow touchdown immediately on the glass of your lens. This safety is why I practically all the time have a lens hood on my digicam—it’s useful in each snow and rain to assist preserve my lens dry.

Some lenses include a lens hood. If not, they’re typically cheap to purchase for many cameras. You should purchase them both direct from the producer or from third social gathering producers. Click on right here for an inventory of lens hoods. Simply ensure that the lens hood is designed on your lens, as lenses are of a unique diameter and the lens hood must match.


Strive a Polarizing Filter

One other snow pictures tip for cameras that assist interchangeable lenses is to make use of a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter is a little bit of glass that attaches to your lens which is used to filter out polarized mild.

Polarized mild is mostly mild which has been mirrored from a sure sort of floor, which incorporates snow. If you happen to use a polarizing filter when capturing snow, it cuts down on the glare, and can enhance the distinction and colours in your picture.

Polarizing filters have quite a lot of makes use of in pictures typically, from reducing down on reflections to creating the clouds in a blue sky actually pop. So they’re positively a worthwhile funding for a variety of pictures topics past snow pictures. You may learn extra about polarizing filters right here.


Use Aperture Precedence or a Particular Snow Pictures Mode

For almost all of pictures that I do with both our DSLR or mirrorless cameras, I’ve the digicam set to aperture precedence mode. Snow pictures isn’t any completely different.

I like aperture precedence as a result of it permits me to simply management the depth of area of a photograph, however frees me up from worrying about setting the shutter velocity and ISO as I must in handbook. After all I keep watch over these settings to make sure they’re inside acceptable parameters, however typically I want to let the digicam take care of these issues so I can give attention to getting the shot itself.

When capturing snow, in most conditions it is going to be outside conditions with loads of mild, so I don’t have to fret concerning the shutter velocity dropping too low or the ISO going too excessive. As a substitute, I can give attention to the composition of my shot and capturing the second.

Most cameras with an aperture precedence mode allow you to set it by way of the digicam’s mode dial. Aperture precedence can be marked as “A” or “Av” usually.

In case your digicam doesn’t have an aperture precedence mode, then you definitely would possibly examine to see if it has a snow pictures mode (or winter mode), which can assist guarantee appropriately uncovered photographs. Alternatively, attempt both the portrait mode for capturing portraits, the motion mode in case you are capturing fast paced motion, or the panorama mode for landscapes.

Waterfall long exposure photography Scotland


Shoot in RAW if accessible

For a very long time, the RAW format was the unique area of upper finish digital SLR cameras. As of late although, many extra gadgets can shoot in RAW, together with excessive finish smartphones from Apple and Samsung and better finish compact cameras.

A RAW file is an unprocessed (usually) model of the picture file which doesn’t sacrifice picture knowledge for file dimension. RAW information have plenty of downsides, together with the dimensions of the file and the very fact it’s a must to edit them. Nevertheless, the upsides are that you’ve got much more management over the ultimate look of the picture on the subject of modifying.

I’ve an incredible deal extra data on what RAW is in pictures right here. Suffice to say, in case your gadget helps RAW pictures, it’s price attempting it out for snow pictures.


Shield Your Gear

If you’re out capturing the snow, it’s essential to be conscious of how the situations can have an effect on your gear.

To start out with, when it’s chilly, anticipate your battery to final for fewer photographs. You won’t discover an excessive amount of distinction if the temperatures are simply round freezing level, however because it will get colder you’ll positively discover an enormous drop off in capability. So that you’ll need to carry spare batteries and preserve then in an inside pocket (corresponding to in a vest or inside jacket) to maintain them heat.

Subsequent, in case you are in actually chilly situations, you’ll need to watch out when taking your gear again to a heat location like your own home. The fast temperature change may cause condensation to construct up even contained in the digicam, which won’t do the delicate electronics any good. To stop this, place the entire digicam inside one thing like a sealed freezer bag earlier than you deliver it inside.

If the climate is much more excessive, then you definitely would possibly think about a digicam cowl like this which can defend the entire digicam from snow and rain. These are a helpful accent for pictures typically, and should not too costly.

I’ve extra tips about defending your gear (and also you!) from the chilly in my winter pictures ideas information.


Be Secure

Our final snow pictures tip is simply to be secure. Photographing snow is quite a lot of enjoyable and really rewarding, however you clearly should take care in wintery situations.

There are all kinds of hazards when it’s chilly, from the well being dangers related to the chilly itself like hypothermia and frost chunk, by to slippery surfaces when icy and avalanches.

All the time put your well being and security first, even when it means lacking a probably nice shot. If you happen to’re heading to distant areas, observe greatest follow and guarantee somebody is aware of the place you’re and what your itinerary is. If you’re travelling alone, remember to have a approach to contact somebody within the space in case you run into any bother.



Digicam Settings for Snow Pictures

I’ve coated this partly within the ideas part, however right here’s a fast overview of my instructed settings for snow pictures for some completely different digicam sorts to get you began.

These are in fact instructed settings to get you began and you might want to regulate relying in your particular state of affairs, picture model, and gadget.


Snow Pictures Settings for Mirrorless / DSLR / Digicam with Handbook Management

You probably have a mirrorless digicam, DSLR digicam or different digicam with handbook controls, set it up as follows:

  • Aperture precedence, extensive apertures (f/1.2 – f/4) for shallow depth of area, and slim aperture (f/8 – f/16) to get extra of the scene in focus
  • ISO – both set the ISO to Auto, or alter based mostly on the sunshine. Normally 100 – 400 can be superb besides at evening.
  • Shutter velocity – in aperture precedence this can be set for you
  • Publicity compensation: Set to +1
  • RAW: configure the digicam to seize photographs in RAW mode
  • White Stability: Set to Auto and you may alter this when submit processing

Snow Pictures Settings for Compact Digicam / Digicam with out Handbook Management

You probably have a compact digicam or a digicam that doesn’t offer you handbook controls, then attempt the next for photographing snow:

  • Set the digicam to “snow” or “winter” mode if it has one (many do)
  • Publicity Compensation: Almost each digicam has some type of publicity compensation characteristic. Set this to +1. There could be a “+/-” button on the digicam, in any other case examine your digicam handbook for the characteristic
  • White stability: Auto
  • Flash: Off (see right here for directions on disabling digicam flash)


Snow Pictures Settings for Smartphone Cameras

You probably have a smartphone, the possibilities are you will have restricted handbook management over most of the key settings. Nevertheless, most smartphones nowadays are very intelligent, and will be capable to get nice snowy photographs with out an excessive amount of adjustment in your half. Some issues to attempt:

  • HDR mode on – this can guarantee an evenly lit picture throughout the entire body
  • Publicity Compensation: Almost each smartphone has an publicity compensation characteristic within the digicam app. Set this to +1
  • White stability: Auto
  • Flash: Off (see right here for directions on disabling digicam flash)


Snow Pictures Concepts

Now you’re all able to take some nice photographs within the snow. However you could be questioning what precisely to take photographs of. Listed here are some topics and picture sorts to think about.



A good looking snowy panorama is a basic scene to {photograph}. My ideas can be to make sure there’s good depth in your shot with outlined foreground and background parts to provide your viewer a way of perspective and scale.

It’s also possible to use a topic like an individual so as to add some shade and a human contact to a shot. Another choice could be to make use of a snowman or different human created object to curiosity your viewer.




Snow makes an incredible backdrop to wildlife pictures. From a fantastic crimson breasted robin by to majestic stags, you may simply use an animal as the important thing topic in your snow images.

Stag NC500


Motion Photographs

If you happen to’re searching for enjoyable methods to take footage of individuals in snow, then I believe capturing motion is an effective way to try this. This might be individuals having a snowball combat, sledding, constructing snowmen, snowboarding, making snow angels, or just out for a stroll in a winter wonderland.

For motion pictures, you would possibly need to swap to shutter precedence quite than aperture precedence in case your digicam helps this, as this fashion you’ll be capable to management whether or not you freeze your topic (quick shutter velocity) or seize a few of their movement (gradual shutter velocity).



Gear for Snow Pictures

Snow pictures doesn’t require specialised gear to get nice outcomes, nevertheless you might think about investing in a few of the following so as to have a greater expertise and enhance your photographs.


Additional Studying

That’s it for my information to taking footage in snow. If you happen to discovered this convenient, you would possibly get pleasure from a few of my different pictures content material. Listed here are some articles to get you began.

  • If you happen to’re searching for extra recommendation on particular ideas for various situations, we additionally have you ever coated. See our information to Northern Lights pictures, lengthy publicity pictures, fireworks pictures, ideas for taking photographs of stars, and chilly climate pictures.
  • We now have a information to  use a compact digicam,  use a DSLR digicam, and  use a mirrorless digicam. We even have a information to how a DSLR works
  • Realizing compose an incredible photograph is a key pictures ability. See our information to composition in pictures for plenty of tips about this topic
  • We now have a information to what depth of area is and whenever you would need to use it.
  • We’re large followers of getting essentially the most out of your digital photograph information, and do to that you’ll want to shoot in RAW. See our information to RAW in pictures to know what RAW is, and why it is best to swap to RAW as quickly as you may in case your digicam helps it.
  • We now have a information to the very best photograph modifying purposes which incorporates each paid and free choices
  • You’re going to want one thing to run your photograph modifying software program on. See our information to the very best laptops for photograph modifying for some tips about what to search for.
  • Colour accuracy is vital for pictures – see our information to monitor calibration to make sure your display screen is ready up appropriately.
  • If you happen to’re searching for an incredible reward for a pictures loving good friend or member of the family (or your self!), check out our pictures reward information,
  • If you happen to’re out there for a brand new digicam, we’ve got an in depth information to the greatest journey cameras, in addition to particular guides for the greatest cameras for mountaineering and backpacking, the greatest compact digicam, greatest bridge digicam, greatest mirrorless digicam and greatest DSLR digicam. We even have a information to the greatest digicam lenses.
  • If you would like a digicam or lens, however the costs are a bit excessive, see our information to the place to purchase used cameras and digicam gear for some finances financial savings choices.
  • We now have a information to why you want a tripod, a information to selecting a journey tripod, and a round-up of our favorite journey tripods


Seeking to Enhance Your Pictures?

If you happen to discovered this submit useful, and also you need to enhance your pictures total, you would possibly need to take a look at my on-line journey pictures course.

Since launching the course in 2016, I’ve already helped 1000’s of scholars learn to take higher photographs. The course covers just about every part it’s essential to know, from the fundamentals of how a digicam works, by to composition, mild, and photograph modifying.

It additionally covers extra superior matters, together with astrophotography, lengthy publicity pictures, flash pictures, and HDR pictures.

You get suggestions from me as you progress, entry to webinars, interviews and movies, in addition to unique membership of a Fb group the place you may get suggestions in your work and participate in common challenges.

It’s accessible for an incredible one-off worth for lifetime entry, and may also be purchased as a present if you recognize somebody who would like to be taught pictures. Discover out extra by clicking right here.

And that’s it! I’d love to listen to about your ideas on snow pictures, and am joyful to reply any questions you will have. Simply pop them within the feedback under and I’ll get again to you as quickly as I can.

Snow photography tips, including camera settings for snow photography, ideas for what to photography in the snow, gear advice and lots more!

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