post by Sarah Nedeljak
Icy roads, freezing temperatures, dead batteries and unbearable wind chill are just some of the many joys we have living here in Alberta. But once in a while, I can’t help but look around and think how beautiful everything looks under fresh fallen snow. The beautiful way it accumulates and clings to tree branches and how it seems like you can stare, off into the horizon and see white forever. Those are the moments you need to grab your camera and get out and capture something that you could never capture in one of those lame tropical countries with boring white sandy beaches year-round. (dare to dream!)
Now that I have you feeling all inspired to capture the beautiful scene around you, I’ll remind you that shooting in the winter is not without a few challenges- preparation is key.
- Layer Up! You will not feel too warm, I promise!
- Fingerless mittens will be your new best friend – this way you can change settings on your camera without exposing your entire hand to the elements – these work well underneath a thick pair of gloves.
- Grab extra batteries! Nothing sucks your battery power quite like that exhilarating cold. Keep your extra batteries warm, like in a chest pocket or close to your body.
- Use the biggest memory card you can find so you can save your freezing fingers the challenge of changing it out later on.
- Be smart with your camera gear and don’t shock it with sudden temperature changes. Coming directly inside from a -30 afternoon feels like a warm hug to you but your camera might hold a grudge. Without taking precautions to properly acclimate your camera, you could wind up with condensation in your camera or lenses.
Ever stare at a beautiful winter scene, take a photo and wonder why the image on the back of your camera looks “meh” in comparison? Perhaps it looks flat and boring? A great way to add some dimension to your winter scene is to practice shooting with a shallow depth of field- if you’re unfamiliar with this, we cover it in our class Using Your Manual Mode. Also, try adding something interesting to the foreground, maybe a splash of color or, instead of trying to capture the entire landscape around you, focus on something small.