Photography in Cold Weather

The winter months afford you the opportunity to take some unique looking photos that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to take.

Winter isn’t about just taking photos of you and your friends making snowmen or hitting the slopes. Instead, when it snows and the weather is cold, you have the ability to photograph every footstep that makes a path in freshly fallen snow. You can photograph breath as it elegantly flows from someone’s mouth and makes its way into the cold air. Or simply photograph the light from a streetlamp that shines through a night of snow. The possibilities are endless when the weather is cold. But in order to make sure you are doing it right, here are some cold-weather photography tips to keep in mind.

Cold Weather Photography

Cold weather photography

Stay Warm

Just because the medium that you are shooting might be cold, doesn’t mean that the person behind the camera should be cold as well. Instead, it is important that you bundle up well and have enough layers to keep warm. Keeping warm will allow you to be nimble and stay comfortable as you wait for that perfect shot. At the same time, make sure that you have the ability to hit the shutter button. Keep in mind that your camera will likely last longer in cold temperatures than you will.

Warm Clothes

Watch Out For Moisture

Many cameras today can withstand a lot of different temperature changes. However, if you have a camera that may not do so well, be sure to be mindful of this. For example, some cameras may completely stop working if you drop them in the snow. Another precaution to consider is taking your camera from extremely cold temperatures to warmer temperatures. In doing so, your camera may build up condensation on it and there is the possibility that it could leak into the camera itself. You are likely to come across a variety of different possibilities when the weather is cold. Therefore, make sure that you keep in mind that it’s not the same as warm weather and your camera will likely need more attention.

Moisture in Equipment

Hold Your Breath

Obviously you don’t have to hold your breath the entire time you are out looking for great photography. But, keep in mind that in extremely cold temperatures, each breath that you take will come out as a huge cloud in front of you. This means that if you tense up and let out a big breath of air as you are taking a photo, you could miss the perfect shot with a giant cloud in your picture. Instead, be mindful of your breathing patterns and how breathing behind a camera could affect the pictures you take in the front.

White Photography

If you have spent much time behind a camera, you likely already know the challenges that present themselves when working with shades of white. Not only might you get different hues in the photo, but white can also make for reflections that will throw off the shutter speed of your camera and require a lot of work with a photo-editing program. With technology today, most cameras come with a mode that will adjust accordingly for snow, ice or other white surfaces. But it is important that you have your camera adjusted to this setting before you start taking pictures. If you are going with a camera that doesn’t automatically adjust, you’ll want to be sure to practice quite a bit with the settings on your camera to find the perfect shot. Taking photography with white surfaces isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult. However, the payoff is certainly worth the effort.

Camera Storage

When you aren’t taking photographs, be sure to keep your camera stored away. A simple way to store your camera in it’s case inside a zip-lock bag that is then attached closely to your body. This will allow your body heat to naturally warm the camera so that it doesn’t get cold, but a zip-lock bag makes it easy to get out quickly for photographs that happen in an instant. This is a convenient and safe way for storing your camera when in cold temperatures.

Cold weather photography will add pictures to your collection that other mediums simply can’t match in beauty. However, they will take a bit of work to get familiar with the settings that are required. Keep these tips in mind, and be sure to build more on your own, as you start taking photos in cold weather.


Related Articles