5 Winter Photo Ideas

30 August 2021

Move over, Eddard Stark. Winter is well and truly here. And with that comes some true marvels that were certain your sparkling digital camera would love to capture. Don’t let the cold weather prevent you from getting out there as you did during the warmer months. To help you stay photographically active in winter, we’ve put together some tips to get you shooting again. From camera gear advice to finding inspiration under lockdown, here are five winter photo ideas.

1. Master indoor photography

If it’s too wet and cold that heading outdoors may lead to chattering teeth and damp socks, then it’s a perfect excuse to master indoor photography. Unlike outdoors, where there’s light from the sun (even on a cloudy day), taking great indoor photos can be a bit trickier. Fortunately, there is an endless list of household items that you can use to improve your indoor photography skills. Check out our At Home Photography Guide for plenty of inspiration and tips on indoor photography!

5 Winter Photo Ideas5 Winter Photo Ideas

2. Shoot in low light conditions

5 Winter Photo Ideas5 Winter Photo Ideas

When light is at a premium, you’ll need to employ the following techniques when shooting in low light conditions.

  • Equip a lens with a fast aperture to allow plenty of exposure and increased bokeh.
  • Mount your camera to a tripod to increase stability and reduce camera motion and blur.
  • Add in artificial lighting with either a camera flash or a lighting rig. The flash on your smartphone can be helpful here as well.

3. Capture the rain

Most people find the sound and sight of rain falling on windows relaxing and calming. But a rainy day is also a great photo opp and makes for incredibly artistic photos. Capture this effect by framing the raindrops in your images using a wide-open aperture for added bokeh. You should focus on the raindrops to make the outside elements of your image blurred and abstract.

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4. Take photos of (or in) the snow

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Nothing says winter like heavy falling snow. If you live in a part of the world where snowfall is expected, heading to the snow for a photography trip is a great way to pass the time during winter. Like with any new terrain or environment, snow photography brings with it a whole new set of obstacles to overcome, including issues with exposure and dealing with cold conditions and their adverse effect on your camera gear.

With all that lovely white snow on the ground, your camera’s light meter may have a difficult time finding the correct exposure level, especially if you’re shooting on Automatic. To combat this, overexpose your shots intentionally by 1 to 2 aperture stops. 

Protecting your camera is also a must for any winter wonderland. To combat the weather, bag your camera using a large zip-lock bag when you head in from the cold to prevent condensation in your camera when things begin to heat up again. At the same time, be sure to carry spare batteries and keep them warm in your inside pockets, as lithium-ion batteries will discharge quickly in cold environments.

5. Do go chasing waterfalls

Despite the advice from TLC, we recommend chasing waterfalls. Why? Because they look fantastic, especially after a big winter downpour. Seek out a picturesque waterfall near you, wait for the rain, then a few days later, hop in the car and pay a visit to these falls.

Ted’s Top Tips: For best waterfall photography, remember the following:

  • Using a slow shutter speed will add motion blur to the moving water for a more ethereal photo.
  • As always, mounting your camera on a tripod will keep your image blur-free.
  • Use a neutral density filter on your camera lens to reduce the amount of light captured. ND filters will allow you to use a slower shutter speed, even in daylight conditions.

Our bonus tip: Create contrast in your photos

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By nature, winter generally provides us with a flat quality of light which can often be a little uninspiring for photographers. To avoid bland photographs, you need to create contrast. Creating contrast in your photos can be done by choosing an exceptionally bright subject coloured in front of a flat background like snow. Dress up in colourful, vibrant clothes and head to the snow to pose for some shots. The juxtaposition of the bright colours will have a striking effect when compared to colourless surroundings. Contrast photography and playing with colour theory can significantly improve outdoor winter portraits, adding some much-needed excitement to family photographs in the snow. 

Another way to enhance contrast in your images is to place dark objects in front of white backgrounds, such as a blown-out sky, and vice versa. To further improve the impact of this technique, don’t be afraid to employ larger areas of black or white space in your frame than you usually would. Commonly referred to as negative space photography, it uses the unoccupied space in the photo to frame your subject. When combined creatively, both negative and positive space can communicate the composition of your photograph.

Now that you’ve got plenty of winter photography ideas, it’s time to start shooting! Discover more photography tips on our blog to help you capture amazing images.

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