Tips to Improve Your Winter Compositions

Is winter photography really any different from that of other seasons? Yes, and no. The basics of landscape photograph apply regardless of the season, but my approach and preparedness can be different in the winter. Here are some tips that might help you improve your winter compositions
By Peter Baumgarten

Focus on winter’s unique features
Winter definitely has elements that no other season has – mainly, ice and snow. Incorporate them as key subjects in your compositions. Sometimes those ice formations may not look all that impressive from the height of a 6’2″ photographer like myself. That’s when I get in close, shoot low and use an ultra-wide angle lens, making them look larger and more dramatic than they really are. By getting in close you can also take advantage of how nicely some ice features can transmit the light.

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Focus in on the details
This strategy works regardless of the season. Rather than just looking at the big picture spend some time focusing in on the minutiae of the scene. Frost and ice can really make a plain subject pop. Areas with open water, or nights with higher humidity can create some great hoarfrost when the thermometer dips below freezing.

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Visit a National Park
National parks are amazing locations during any season. Some of my most memorable, and photographically fruitful trips have been made during the winter months. A fresh blanket of snow can add to that already stunning scenery. And the added benefit is that there will be far fewer people to contend with.

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Make your own point of interest
In each of the photos in this article I have tried to include at least one key element that your eye will be drawn to. Sometimes you get to a location and there really isn’t anything that jumps out at you and screams, “Photograph me!”. In those situations I know I have to work the scene. That might mean manipulating the environment a bit in order to create a point of interest that will draw the viewer into the image.

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more in: 10 Tips to Improve Your Winter Compositions
by Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary
at Olympus

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Tips for Better Autumn Shots

If the camera was invented for only one of the four seasons, it would have to be autumn. The colors, cooler weather and threat of the long winter ahead inspires countless photographers to get out and photograph the beauty of fall. If you are one of those photographers, here are a few tips and techniques that I use.
by Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary

Make It Vivid
Don’t Let The Weather Stop You
Shoot High, Shoot Low
Details Matter
Perfect Portraits
Track The Colors
Autumn Sunsets Rule
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Tips for Better Autumn Shots
by Peter Baumgarten

more at Olympus

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Perspective: a small thing that makes a big difference

It sounds cliché to say, “it’s all a matter of perspective”, but in photography a slight change in your camera’s position can make a big difference to the overall look of your final image. Let me take you on a recent expedition to a local field to show you what I mean.
by Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary

The Formula
Well, there really isn’t one, except perhaps – move and shoot (or is that, shoot and move). Each scene is different, but your viewer will be far more engaged if you offer an unusual view of your subject. Some suggestions include;
Shoot higher than eye level
Shoot lower than eye level
Shoot straight up or straight down
Move in close or back away
Frame your subject – use a door, window, arch, tree branch (this is a whole blog post on its own)
Switch lenses or focal lengths (again another blog post)
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Perspective: a small thing that makes a big difference
more by Peter Baumgarten
at Olympus

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8 Tips to Improve your Winter Compositions

“I have a love-hate relationship with winter. I won’t get into why I hate winter (too cold, short days, high heating bills, driving sucks… okay, so I got into it a bit). For photography however, I love winter. Once the autumn leaves hit the ground and everything looks dull and grey, I find myself dreaming of winter. There’s nothing like a fresh blanket of snow to brighten up a landscape scene. And that same landscape can look quite different from day to day considering how variable the weather and lighting can be during the winter.

Is winter photography really any different from that of other seasons? Yes, and no. The basics of landscape photograph apply regardless of the season, but my approach and preparedness can be different in the winter. Here are some tips that might help you improve your winter compositions…”
By Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary

Focus on winter’s unique features
Play in the snow
Look for color contrasts
Shoot at the bookends of the day
Control the blues
Photograph people
Make your own point of interest
Focus in on the details
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8 Tips to Improve your Winter Compositions
By Peter Baumgarten
more at Olympus