There is no question that winter offers some of the most stunning photography opportunities. The snow sparkling in the sunlight (or, sometimes even more magically, in the moonlight), the untouched blanket of white powder rolling over hills and meadows, or sometime studded with little animal prints. It’s all absolutely delightful. Makes you want to take a limousine service to a fancy Christmas ball. And don’t even get my started on those days where it’s sunny, with very few clouds, but somehow it still manages to snow those big, fluffly flakes that land in clumps on your clothing, and catch the sunlight as they drift down to the earth. It’s like it’s all out of a fairytale.
And not only are the natural phenomena themselves great for photographing, but so are winter activities! There’s skiing, tubing, snow-angel-making, snowball fighting, igloo-building, sledding, skating, hockey, and the list goes on and on! All super great opportunities for some candid action shots, for sure. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally become embroiled in the heat of a fierce snowball fight if really you were just planning on being the photographer. Getting hit in the face with a snowball can be bad enough, but getting hit in the camera, and then having a camera hit you in the face, well … probs worse. And then you have your camera itself to think about.
So, while we’re on that topic, that is something extra you should keep in mind about taking pictures in the winter, to be careful of all the wetness. Because though snow might be fun to roll around you, it is really just water in disguise, and thus could spell bad news bears for any electronic device you might be carrying, be it a professional-grade super camera, a point and shoot, or just your phone. Not that you should be letting those things just roll out of your pocket in any other season, either, but there usually isn’t quite so much wet to deal with as there is in winter time.
Some of my favourite shots to take in the winter are after ice storms. Depending on where you’re from and what kind of experience you’ve had with winter, an ice storm may seem like a pretty frightening thing. Cause it sounds a lot like there are basically just chunks of ice flying around, which … like, kinda. But the best part about those storms is the aftermath. I mean, not for the city, usually, because there is often a ton of damage, but for anyone who likes nature photography, it’s the bees’ knees! The most beautiful things that can be covered in ice, I think, are branches and leaves. I like getting in real close and focusing the camera on the branches and leaves and berries, and letting the snowy background really remain the background, like letting it remain out of focus. That usually works out really beautifully.
The only thing that can sometimes prove problematic in winter photography is getting cold fingers. That’s a real concern. Usually, in the depths of Ottawa winters, I have two pairs of gloves on, anyway, so often I make sure that the little gloves underneath my larger mittens are the kind without fingers, so if there’s the opportunity for a really nice shot, at least most of my hand stays warm.