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