Winter Photography Ideas and Tips
Don't Fear Winter, Embrace it!
Winter Photography - Well, it is just a few days until Christmas and the Winter has really just hit Weymouth with a bitter chill. I feel so far away from my old home in the sun!
One thing that played heavily on my mind when we decided to leave Spain was what would I shoot now the sun has all but gone? What of winter photography? I had been used to:
...all with a distinct "holiday" feel about them.
I was used to popping on a pair of shorts, practically any day of the year. Then setting off for a day’s comfortable shooting with fantastic light.
The cold is one thing that puts me off winter photography. My equipment (camera equipment please!) and hands get so cold it is hard to concentrate let alone be creative. However, I decided to brave the cold winds of the Jurassic Coast for a bit to see what I could find.
Something that struck me about the UK in winter is that there is a constant golden light when the sun is out. It is so low for much of the day that if you position yourself right, you can make the most of this wonderfully natural light.
But what if the rain is coming down and it really isn’t good outside for any sort of winter photography? Simple, shoot indoors!
The first image here is of the Fleet Air Museum in Somerset. Whenever I can, I try to incorporate my photography with a day out for the kids. Something interesting that we can all enjoy as a family.
WINTER INDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY INDOORS
I was really impressed how the Canon EOS 1D Mark III fared in such low, artificial light. These two images were taken hand held at 60th/sec using an aperture of F4. The ISO was set to 1600 and the noise is barely noticeable! They have also had very little in the way of post processing and I was particularly impressed with the depth of field from the Canon EF 24-70 at 24mm.
WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY OUTDOORS
If you are lucky enough to live near a ski resort, make the most of it. We used to live 2 hours from the Spanish ski resort of Sierra Nevada which had a long season.
I spent an entire day here just shooting everything and for the last 15+ years, many from that day have sold as stock photography.
A couple of Kubota’s Image Tools Photoshop Actions were used here.
Please note: Image quality reduced for web use
WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY ZOOM IN
Then we have a shot of a sensible man waiting for the pub to open (well, that’s how I saw it anyway).
The whole of Dorset has some amazing architecture and cobbled streets dating back centuries.
It is exactly what I was looking forward to when returning to Blighty after so long away.
We have had some great country pub lunches already : )
WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY WATER
This next shot is a crop from a photo I took as I crossed a bridge near a busy port in Weymouth, Dorset.
The boat was an incredibly bright yellow and the sun had popped out for a bit and was shining on the hull.
The contrast really stood out so I fired a few off. I love digital photography and it is always worth looking at something from all angles!
WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY SURFER
Yes, people surf in winter, including my daughter. This is occasionally the only time you get decent waves in an otherwise calm sea. Luckily these guys were fairly close to the beach otherwise a longer lens would be needed.
I could spend all day shooting experienced surfers. Always plenty of action and this shot has also sold well as stock over the years.
WINTER XMAS PHOTOGRAPHY
Lastly, and to give some warm winter wishes to all who read ATP, a boat with a happy greeting. I was shooting long exposures of 2-3 seconds or more.
It took a few blurry shots for me to realise that the boat was slightly moving which stopped me from "freezing" the festive writing. Must be the cold! I upped the ISO, opened the aperture and was able to get a sharp shot in the end.
I think winter photography has a lot to offer. If I get some nice thick socks and jumpers for Christmas, I may brave the elements once again.
Some ideas for shooting over Christmas and through the winter:
For good, reliable outdoor winter photography you need: