The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022

Tips on taking photos during winter

Now that winter appears to be here for a while, here’s some ideas on looking for photo opportunities after the snowstorm has passed. 

There are two subjects — the snow itself and the appearance of objects decorated by snow. Each of these subjects offer two approaches-up close for details or farther away for impact. There is merit in both approaches and it is your privilege to record them so what you see will also be appreciated by others.

Contributing to the scene are fog, hoarfrost, snow clumps on vegetation, sun elevation, and the degree to which the sky is overcast. I would suggest that shooting the same subject under any of these conditions would produce images that would impact the viewer in multiple ways.

The Van Wert County’s Historical Museum’s iron fence and gate along Third Street.

When your subject is the snow, look for how large flakes make it sparkle, or how the wind has shaped it. Low weeds may also mark the snow with interesting lines. Go when the sun is lower to see more enhancing shadows and find situations that reveal the depth of the snow.

If your subject is an object that is in snow or has snow on it, look for surfaces that will contrast with the snow such as old fences, barns, trees, bridges, farm machinery, weathered surfaces, weeds, or pine cones. Streams or other bodies of water that still have some open areas can offer contrasts also. Look, too, for brightly painted buildings in snowy conditions for an interesting image.

Try to keep your camera cool, so it doesn’t fog up when you’re ready to shoot. A tripod is optional on this trip because you’ll probably have enough light. Take some test shots first. You may have to open the lens for more accurate exposure and change your white balance to more closely match the snow.  A polarizing filter can improve the scene. Keep yourself and extra batteries warm. Park your car where it isn’t a traffic problem. Smiley Park, Hiestand Woods Park, Camp Clay, and the reservoirs would be some good starting points.

Check the weather forecast before you start so you can avoid bitter wind chills or frostbite.  Your health is worth more than an exceptional photo.

POSTED: 01/30/19 at 5:03 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News