Winter truly is a beautiful (and wonderful!) time of year with oh-so many magical photo opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of – whether its snowy scenes, misty mornings or twinkly lights.
Even though it’s arguably one of the most photogenic times of year, it can be tricky to get that perfect shot. And so with this in mind, we were lucky enough to speak with Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE. Over hot chocolate, Clare shared her top tips to help us capture the very essence of the beauty of winter in our photography – and now you can too!
1) Look for colour
When photographing a winter scene, we tend to focus on the glistening white snow. Instead, look for colour to create a beautiful contrast to the pure white ground – it will really make your photos pop and help the crisp, whiteness of the snow stand out even more. Look for red berries shining on a branch, an orange leaf left over from autumn or even a woolly hat and scarf! The contrasting colours will complement each other perfectly and will help your winter photos look even more magical.
2) Don’t lose sight of the smaller features
Often when we take photos to showcase the beauty of winter, we focus on capturing the whole scene and sometimes overlook the beauty of the finer, more intricate details. Frost has a magical quality that can turn the leaves on a tree or a garden path into a true masterpiece.
When you’re taking photos in the winter try to zoom in as close as you can to anything that appears to have a touch of frost to discover intricate patterns in the ice. Frosty scenes also make a great backdrop, with an out of focus background really helping your subject stand out. To get this effect, create as much distance as you can between the subject and the background and use the widest aperture possible.
3) Be mindful of your exposure
As beautiful as the pure white snow can be, it can be tricky to photograph! It’s often so bright that your camera can end up underexposing to compensate for all the light that’s in shot, leaving you with grey snow and your subject appearing far too dark. To avoid this, try switching your camera to manual and overexpose the image by one or two stops. Keep testing until this looks right and make sure you don’t overexpose too much, to avoid losing the detail in your image.
4) Perfectly capture those misty mornings
The best way to capture morning mist is to be outside at the crack of dawn so that you don’t miss it before the sun comes up! Experimenting with your exposure will benefit you in this instance too as fog can come out in a slightly grey colour if you’re not careful. To avoid this, slightly overexpose the shot to make the fog lighter. You’ll also find that the chances of condensation appearing are much higher at this time of year, so watch out for small droplets getting into your lens!
5) Make the most of the natural light for perfect portraits
Winter’s natural light should definitely be taken advantage of when creating the perfect portrait shots. Those slightly overcast days give a soft light that’s really flattering and, paired with the reflection from the snow on the ground, offers the perfect setting for portrait photography. To get an accurate exposure for portraits in the snow, zoom right in to your subject’s face (so you can’t see any snow in the background) and take a reading to see what settings you need (or take a photo and look at the settings that way). Set your camera to the same settings and however you take your shot, the camera will expose the subject’s face correctly, without getting distracted by the snow.