Shooting in the Snow

With all of the snow we have been dealing with this winter, we might forget what a great time it is to take some photos in the snow.

However, photography in the snow (and cold) can present it’s own set of problems.

Here’s a few tips on getting the best winter photos.

1. Stay Warm – You and your BATTERIES

Batteries take a beating in the cold. And your camera depends on battery power. Keep an extra battery inside your coat, close to your body heat. That way you can quickly switch from a cold “dead” battery to a nice warm fresh one. Plus the seemingly dead one will come back to life once it warms up.

2. Keep Your Camera Dry

Every notice how your glasses fog up when you come inside from the cold? Same thing happens to your camera but the results can be hard on internal parts and electronic circuits in your camera.

Before coming inside, put your camera inside your camera bag or inside a sealed ziplock plastic bag. That way condensation will form on the bag and not on your lens or internal mirror in the camera while the camera comes to room temperature.

3. Snow Scenes Will Give You The “Blues”

Auto White Balance results in a “bluish” snow scene

If you use your camera on Auto White Balance, your photos will tend to come out with a bluish tone to them. You can get around this by setting a Custom White Balance or using the “Flash” setting for your white balance. Don’t use your flash, just the white balance setting for flash. This will add a touch of yellow that will compensate for the blue tone of snow.

Using “Flash” White Balance adds a touch of yellow to compensate for the bluish look of snow.

4. Compensate for the Extra Brightness of Snow

Snow is white. Duh! But all that extra whiteness can cause your camera’s light meter to under-expose your images.

Auto Exposure – camera “sees” too much white and under-exposes.


Exposure Compensation set to +1.5. People are better exposed.

You can fix this by telling your camera to over expose by using the +/- Exposure Compensation button. Hold the button down and adjust the exposure on the + side to add more exposure to the image. The great part about digital photography is that you can see the results of adjustments immediately. For more on this magic Exposure Compensation button you can click here.

If your camera is a smartphone, there is usually a way to adjust exposure right on your viewing screen.

5. Hold Your Breath

On really cold days, your exhaled breath can fog up your viewfinder or your lens. Try not to breathe directly in the lens or viewing screen.

As for your subjects, if you are taking a portrait, ask everyone to breathe in and out in unison. Take your pictures on their “inhale” to avoid the visible puffs of exhaled breathe.

Winter is a great time for photos. Get out there with your camera/smartphone and get some photos to look at next summer when it’s +35˚C (100˚F) in the shade.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Master Photographer Secrets Revealed

Sign up for our popular "Boost-Letter" and Get Our Latest FREE eBook