Of course, we mean cold in this article, hard and unbearable cold. In fact, if you have enough information and are ready to photograph in these conditions, you will naturally have no problem on days when the weather is more favorable. So, before we start talking about photography issues, let's make a very important point to take air conditioning seriously! cold causes hypothermia or frostbite. No photo has the potential for the devastating and even fatal side effects of prolonged exposure to the cold and risking your own health. So, plan, do not push yourself and have a plan to warm up at the end of the tour and photography. Also, before moving, we recommend that you let those around you know where you are going and when you are likely to return.
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What should we do before we start shooting in winter?
Checking the batteries
Batteries hate cold weather just like reptiles and other cold-blooded creatures! Low temperatures reduce their performance, and of course you do not want your photography program to be disrupted due to a battery problem.
Therefore, we recommend that you use batteries for photography on very cold winter days. Use strong and preferably new. Always try to have an extra battery with you. Of course, do not put this extra battery in the camera bag. Keep it on top of your warm clothes to keep them warm.
Camera bag or backpack
Always use these tools to protect your photographic equipment It is essential. But on cold winter days, you will need them much more. In very cold snowy or rainy weather, the camera is naturally exposed to these factors just like you. As you protect yourself by wearing different clothes, it is better to take good care of your photography equipment, because they are vulnerable to these factors.
Large plastic bag>
Be sure to bring a large plastic bag with your other belongings. We will tell you the reason later.
It is very difficult to choose the right gloves for your photography. Some gloves are not very hot, good and warm gloves are too thick and have little flexibility. In fact, for winter photography, you need gloves that are both warm, comfortable to hold, and easy to adjust the camera.
Of course, this will depend on how cold it is. . If you are planning to shoot in mountainous, snowy and very cold areas, you will naturally need much more powerful equipment. But photographing on more typical winter days may not be so difficult. But it is for people who want to shoot in very cold and mountainous environments. There are different types of hand heaters. The simplest of them are the size of bank cards. They generate heat from the reaction of the material inside them with air, and this heat remains for several hours. You can hold these small packages in your hand or even put them in your gloves to keep your hands warm.
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Protector for tripods
You may not have thought of it, but imagine using a metal tripod in a very cold, mountainous environment! You can get different cloud covers for the tripod and you no longer need to touch the metal bases directly. Of course, the use of these cloud protectors in general and always is also recommended. We introduced very cold and hard. In this section, we will discuss what you need to pay attention to when shooting in these environments. In fact, for now, we're going to talk more about snow and winter photography tips and tricks. If you have a flash with you, you must also keep it in a warmer place. Because both the battery and the flash are damaged in very cold environments. Now for the photography tips.
- The good news is that cold winter weather is usually better than hot summer weather. cold air has less humidity and is therefore cleaner. The cleaner the air, the wider the field of view and the more beautiful photos you can take.
- If the snow is on the ground and the weather is clear and almost sunny, you should be very careful about the exposure of the image. It will be very difficult for you to face the snow. In fact, snow is one of the most complex subjects in the field of lighting. Any mistake you make can cause your photo to lose its balance and lose some detail. This is a common problem when shooting in snow, where the photos are darkened and the snowflakes are not as white as they should be. The reason for this is obvious: there are so many white areas in the image that your camera goes astray. Therefore, it reduces the exposure (Exposure) and as a result, you capture dark images! It is best to adjust the exposure yourself. Fortunately, all cameras and even smartphones can do this. A general rule of thumb in digital photography is to expose the brightest parts of the image and make sure your image highlights do not turn completely white. Shadow details can be adjusted later through software edits. But you can no longer correct highlights that are too transparent and have been exposed. For shooting in snowy environments, it is not bad to start with a exposure value of +1 and then make additional adjustments. Lastly, for when you want to shoot in the sun: use a lens hood. Because snow can act as a powerful, gigantic reflector, stray lights are more likely to reach your lens and ruin your photo. Therefore, using a lens hood can prevent such situations. In addition, the lens hood prevents snow and rain from hitting your lens.
- As you know, the angle of the sun's rays is lower during the winter. In fact, it is this low angle that cools the air. The same angle of radiation makes you have better light quality during the day during the winter and longer shadows of objects. If you spend a little more creativity and patience, you can use this longer shadows to capture special photos. If you are shooting on a cloudy day, it's best to change your camera and White Balance settings and add more warmth to the photo.
Shadows are longer in the winter sun
- UV filters are a good tool for removing fog And steam are in the air. these vapors are usually scattered in cold and winter weather and are more common at higher altitudes. However, another advantage of using a UV filter for winter photography and cold and snowy weather is that it protects your lens from snow and rain.
- Do not miss the golden and blue hours! Light is the main element of photography. During the day, both the direction and color of the light change several times. When the sun is completely below the horizon, the light is blue and cold and is known as the blue hours. Just after sunrise, the colors of sunlight turn yellow and warmer, and they are known as golden hours. In general, these two hours are suitable for photography, but on snowy days and when the snow is sitting on the ground, photography at these hours is extraordinary! Because snow is very reflective and reflects light very well. Therefore, a warm sunrise or pre-dawn lights in snowy landscapes are amazing.
- Try shooting in RAW format as much as possible. In the past, shooting in this format was only for digital cameras and DSLRs, but today even some smartphones can shoot in this format. Although RAW files may be much bulkier and more difficult to open, they have many advantages that make them great for use on snowy days. As mentioned, exposure, shadows and highlights are all important in winter photography. So it would be a good idea to be able to further manipulate the image and fix some of its potential flaws.
- Use a narrow aperture. To make everything clear in your photo, it is better to use a narrow aperture (something between F/8 to F/22). Since these values have a high image depth, everything will be clearly visible in the background. In most cases you will not need to adjust the aperture higher than F/16. Using the narrowest apertures, such as F/22, can sometimes spoil the image quality and blur it a bit.
- Look for color contrasts. In a snowy environment, everything is
white and your photo may become too monotonous. In these
situations, it becomes difficult to distinguish between different
elements of the landscape. A good solution is to look for color
contrasts. This contrast can be in anything, from a few trees or
even colored backgrounds. p>
- Take your memory card out of the camera
- Remember we said we had a plastic bag with you? After shooting, put your camera and lens in a plastic bag and vent all the air. Why? Some humidity is on the cold surface of the camera. When the body is in a warmer environment, this moisture turns into water droplets, and you know for sure that moisture and electronic equipment do not have a good relationship with each other! The plastic bag magically sacrifices itself to this compaction process so that your camera and equipment stay dry while warming up. Let the equipment stay in this plastic bag for about 2 hours and then take it out.
- If it was very cold and dry outside, we recommend placing your camera on a ledge with a body. Do not heat up too soon. The slower things get back to normal, the better.
winter photography From the sky is great
If you are a fan of astrophotography and sky and star photography, winter is a great time to do so. The Milky Way is not very clear during the winter, but this season is still a great opportunity for astrophotography to find other stars and their orbits. The air is usually cleaner on cold winter nights and does not have the heat waves of summer. So your viewing distance will be more. It is enough to be able to use different techniques well to realize that your images are much cleaner and clearer than summer days. Snow on the ground also helps lighten the surroundings.
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Suggested camera settings for snow photography
If you have a mirrorless camera or DSLR, the following settings may be suitable for shooting in completely cold and snowy environments.
- Aperture priority. Aperture (F/1.2 to F/4) for shallow background photography. Low aperture (F/8 to F/16) for more view and surround in the image.
- Adjust the ISO value either automatically or select it based on ambient light. Values of 100 to 400 will usually be appropriate. Of course, unless you want to shoot at night.
- Shutter speed: This value will be adjusted automatically when the aperture is the priority.
- Exposure: +1 is appropriate
- Image format: We recommend shooting in RAW format
- White Balance: Set to auto value. Since we shoot in RAW format, we can adjust the white light balance later.
Suggested settings for snow photography with mobile and smartphone
Use your smartphone camera for photography, you probably will not have many options to adjust. However, today's phones are very smart and intelligent, so they should have no problem capturing stunning photos in snowy environments. However, we recommend that you consider a few things to keep in mind:
- Enable HDR mode. In this case, the exposure is well distributed throughout the frame.
- Exposure value: Exposure is one of the things you can adjust on smartphones. We recommend setting it to +1.
- Set White Balance to auto.
- The phone's flash must also be off.
With all this explanation, do not let the cold winter weather keep you from going out for photography. As they say, Sometimes the best pictures are taken when the weather is at its worst. So with a little preparation and planning, you can go out and take pictures, regardless of the weather, and of course enjoy doing it.
Sources: findingtheuniverse and bhphotovideo
Tags: forget, these, essential, tips, winter, cold, weather, photography