Winter Shot Ideas

The dark days of winter make any great shot a complete challenge.  The key here is lighting, whether it is the precious sun rays, the mute overcast clouds, or the bright moon at night surrounded by artificial lamp lights.  Any successful winter picture will make use of whatever lighting source it has, given the limited amount of it there is (except for those marvellous wintry sunny but ridiculously cold days) you’ll have to be very strategic when attempting to get that seasonal shot.

  • Light reflection and shadow should be what you are looking for, any angle or corner that gives you the opportunity to have your subject reflect the sunlight with the great shadows it creates should be your number one priority.  Do not shoot towards the sun, and do not use a blocked sun angle, wait for the sun to make its way if possible and use that, makes a world of difference.
  • Winter sun against fresh white snow can be create a blinding white out shot.  If there is fresh white snow on the ground, mute some of the sunlight by going to areas with slightly filtered lighting.  Or have a dark background to juxtapose the snow.  Otherwise it’ll be like looking at a white sheet of paper. 
  • Have your subject (if it’s a person) wear dark or bright clothing, neutral or light colours will get lost, especially if you are not using a professional DSLR camera and opting for a regular cell phone camera.
  • Don’t be afraid to go for photos in overcast days, just make sure that, where possible incorporate some artificial warm light (such as Christmas, street or regular house lights) which act as nice focal point in an otherwise drab background of grey.
  • Opt for black and white photography, winter provides the best opportunities for monochromatic effects given it’s natural shades of grey that can only be enhanced when going for the black and white  photo scheme.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with photos in the winter.  Summer, spring and fall are always seen as ideal, but winter provides the most dramatic scenes if care and strategy is considered when taking your photos.  Certainly in some countries you can’t avoid it for 6 months of the year, but why would you want to, it’s incredible.  Any additional tips or recommendations you can think of?


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