We LOVE to travel. However, in the winter months we tend to baton the hatches and huddle up at home. In the Pacific Northwest it is either raining, frosty, foggy, freezing or a combination of these. This less than inviting weather combined with the instinctual need to hibernate can make it challenging to both create and get outside. Despite this you can photograph in the dead of winter.
Thankfully, my partner and I made a pact to have at least one adventure a week.This means we get out and hike most often. Although biking, snowshoeing, skiing and the occasional spelunking have also been fun in the winter.
1. Bundle Up First
Prepare yourself for the weather. In the PNW we are used to the rain, but I still freeze in winter so start layering. We love merino wool, buffs, and a good down puffer.
DO NOT FORGET THE GLOVES. You will be shooting on your camera, so you will also want the kind that are “tech touch” sensitive like the ones pictured. This way you do not have to ever take off your glove to get a shot.
2. Look for Textures
Chances are that you are hiking or exploring a bit more locally in the in the winter and end up with nothing too spectacular in terms subject. The forests are dead, the animals are hibernating and the trails are muddy.
This is really the best time of year to search for textures in your images. Everything is exposed and you can find some gorgeous dimension. If you have a Macro Lens, it can get even better. Close ups of the early morning frost and dew drops on leaves are a few things for you to try out.
3. Find the Subtle Light
If you are really lucky you might get some sun on those early crisp winter days or if you are extra lucky you will get to shoot in the snow.(We will talk about traveling out in it soon). Regardless of where you are winter light is much less dramatic. This does mean it is any less stunning.
Look for subtle light. Subtle or diffused light can create great mood in a photograph. Early mornings will give you the best sunrises, as sunsets are much less impressive in the winter. See if you can’t roll out of bed a few minutes before your commute to stop and get that fog or frost.
4. Take a Day Trip
Travel within your state or surrounding states. We are lucky enough to be a couple of hours from some fantastic snow and Mountains. If you are really needing to be inspired find the snow. Look for patterns and try shooting in black and white. This can lead to high contrast images that accentuate the light the snow captures.
Do not forget to always adjust the exposure manually when shooting in the snow or bight conditions. You phone especially will often over expose since the white snow reflects light. So keep an eye on this and look at your images as you shoot to see how you can adjust.
5. Shoot at Night
In the winter night comes really early. Try shooting in low light scenarios on a tripod. Look or any ambient light that surrounds you. Head to the nearby city and shoot on the street in the evening. There also tends to be even more man made light from the holidays so it can create some different images to punch up your albums.
That is all for now friends! I hope you get out and enjoy what winter has to offer. I would love to see your images, so do not forget to tag me on Twitter @phonephotopro or Instagram @bethanymccamish