How to take pictures in winter. How to photograph winter.

Recently found an interesting review on how to take pictures in winter. In Radozhiv, in turn, I want to share my experience.

Taking pictures is pretty simple, the process itself is not much different, there are only a few snags
1. Cold for the photographer
2. Cold for the camera
3. Cold for the model (if any)

It’s cold for photo-scarf:
Well, what can’t you do for the sake of a high-quality shot, you can freeze, but here there are two aspects: when working without gloves, my fingers freeze very much, sometimes my index finger on my right hand froze (with which I pressed the shutter button) that I had to take pictures middle finger ... yes yes, it happens.
I advise you in such cases to get used to working with gloves, if you are working with a DSLR, there will be no big problems, the buttons are large, the lenses with zoom rotate quite easily. True, sometimes it’s hard to adjust the camera settings, so it’s better to expose everything with your bare hands, and then correct the subtleties in the gloves.
I advise you to use as few equipment as possible, tripods, flash, etc. use only when absolutely necessary, because everything starts to freeze, for everything it takes time to fasten it, install it and, in turn, you freeze too.

Cold for the camera
If you can still warm your fingers, then no one will hack on the camera. Over time, the camera begins to lose focus in cold weather, the shutter button does not respond, the display is very slow. The display is especially noticeably slow, since it is made in most cases on liquid crystals, which, obviously, freeze and cannot update the picture.
Some cameras are dustproof and waterproof, but this does not mean that they are protected from the cold, so try not to overcool the camera and immediately hide it in your bag after shooting.

Cold for the lens. The lens, in principle, feels normal in severe frost, but when you bring it into the room, condensation appears. This is due to the fact that the lens is cold, the steam on it cools and becomes droplets of water, and it is practically impossible to remove through such a matte water coating. I often encounter this problem. There is only one way out - to let the lens and camera stay in a warm room. All manufacturers recommend the same. The same applies to the camera matrix and its entire filling, you need to warm it. I strongly do not recommend washing droplets.

Cold for flash:
From personal experience, I will say that the flash heating indicators begin to fail at low temperatures, because the flash itself behaves strangely. Also, low temperatures increase the temperature differences in the flash lamp, which wears it out faster. There are simply no treatment options for this winter disease ...

Cold for model:
First of all, remember that the model you are shooting is a million times more important than your picture and if she or he is cold and hard - warm them first. Of course, if this is a teddy bear that you shoot in the cold, you can forget about this restriction and have fun capturing it until you freeze yourself or the bear is covered with a thick sheet of snow. But seriously, it’s better to shoot winter motifs with models in the studio, especially if they are not completely dressed.

Winter photographs in backlight

Winter photographs in backlight

Further, when we decided the vital moments for the life of technology, ourselves and models, we can already think about artistic manipulationthat provides you with winter
1. Lots of snow
2. A lot of light
3. Cold tones
4. Snowfalls, snow and any snow topics

Snow bear

Snow bear

A lot of snow means that there will be really a lot of snow in the frame (if this is not shooting winter without snow), which means that bar chart may not have a classic look. You don’t need to be afraid and be prepared that bar chart will be shifted to the right (towards the lights). The camera basically wants to make the snow gray, because the lights will disappear in the histogram, I advise adjust exposure without fear +1 ev
Also, a large amount of snow means that it is very desirable to set up correctly white balance (BB) This is done quite simply, I personally do not “freeze” my head and expose BB purely on a large spot of snow in the frame. There will be a natural look of snow, and if that, BB always easy to fix in the editor.

A lot of light. The more light, the better. A lot of light gives a lot of ideas with his work. The main thing to remember is that snow reflects the light and use it. I often encountered the problem that very contrasting shots are obtained, this often happens if there is a person in the frame. With contrast, you also need to be careful.

You can perfectly play winter scenes using cold tones, for this you can either set BB towards blue shades, either apply the appropriate filters in the post-processing of photos, as well as come up with different interesting settings, or just catch the frozen glass at home.

Icicles that resemble an equalizer

Icicles that resemble an equalizer

Another interesting article on the topic - Is it possible to take pictures in the cold.

Help to the project. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 23, on the topic: How to take pictures in winter. How to photograph winter.

  • The most sensible article about winter shooting techniques. This is the only article where there are 3 main shooting elements: photographer, model and camera. The first time I see that the model was included in this list and I can’t get enough of it =)
    Keep it up - great article!

    • Embodiment_Dreams

      Thank you.

    • Ice

      Good morning to you.
      Thank you so much for your work!
      It seems to me that in the phrase: “I personally do not“ freeze ”my head” you meant “I get dirty”. Although in the context of the article (snow, frost and winter), maybe you meant that what you wrote.

  • Dmitriy

    The author is well done !!!


    Regarding the camera and condensate:
    the camera should be warmer than the surrounding air. if you come to warm up, safely hide the camera in cellophane and wrap it in a warm scarf in a bag. do the same after filming. the chamber should heat up very slowly. Before shooting, put a plastic hot water bottle in your bag (check it for leaks!). after a series of shots, put the camera in your bag. let it warm up a little. you can hide it under your clothes, but then there is a chance to overcool. try not to delay the photo session. protect the camera, yourself and the model from the cold. choose a warm, windless day.

    • Oleg

      Be careful with hot bottles: condensation may appear on the camera directly in the bag.

  • Antokha

    how to photograph falling snow?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Manual focus will greatly help. Everything else can be left on the machine.

  • Antokha

    Thank you)

  • Sergei

    Thank you so much interesting article

  • Lyubochka Mikhey

    And I have the opposite question, is it possible to take pictures in a bathhouse? I mean, not in the steam room itself, but simply in the bathhouse (where there is a shower, devilish, etc.). When I had a soap dish, she just literally an hour later did not want to turn it on, I think it was from excessive moisture and steam. So, can I take a DSLR to the bathhouse or not?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I shot in a bathhouse on the D90, however, then the camera needs to be defended under normal conditions, everything fogs up very much.

  • Alexander

    I want to share my experience of shooting in winter in the cold! I live in the Far North and I often want to take pictures of our winter cities, surroundings, tundra. So, having tried different methods, I settled on one. I put on a sweater and a down jacket with natural down, I hang the camera around my neck under the down jacket. I take out the camera only for the duration of the shooting, and I try to do only 5 - 7 frames at a time. Between the down jacket and the sweater, due to the fact that the camera has time to cool down in this minute, such a cool temperature is set, and if you take the camera outside for no more than a couple of minutes and then keep it under the down jacket for at least 5 minutes, then the camera does not have time to freeze too much and does not heat up, but somewhere the temperature is kept on it around +5 degrees! In a frost of -35 in this way, I went on set for several hours. Just before entering the room, I put the camera in a plastic bag, or even better in a photo bag and then with a bag in a bag and don't get it out of there at home for three hours. Once I took pictures like that, though quite a bit at minus 52!

  • Anna

    Tell me please! I recently bought a Nikon D3100 camera and decided to immediately take pictures on Helios 44 4. Successful photographs of 1600 ISO and 2.0 apertures under the flashlight when you look up at the falling snow. He designed a nozzle at work for the bokeh, as the clyde-adapter made. I wanted to know 2 questions. If you put homemade cupcakes, how to get a beautiful bokeh of glare in front of the object (use New Year's rain, water droplets or something else?). A kind of holiday photo effect. The second question is how to remove night falling snow with dots in the air.

  • Olga

    Tell me how to photograph snow so that it doesn’t turn out to be one big white spot, but you can see grains and snowflakes, if I may say so. Yesterday I tried to photograph with a different aperture, while nothing interesting happened.

    • Vladimir Y.

      I use a polarizing filter or an H-4 filter, which reduces the light intensity by four times, I photograph even the sun with rays above a snow-covered field

    • Carl Zeiss

      Olga, if you want to get practical advice on your question, then at least indicate the model of the camera in the question, and most importantly, which lens you shoot.

  • parent

    This is where your second camera will help you. Pro compact. The main advantage of which is its size and retractable lens. A belt around the neck, a camera in a plastic bag and under a fur coat, jacket, etc. Unfasten a couple of buttons, grab it, remove it and back into the bag and under the clothes. The bag does not need to be tied and so holds on. It is necessary so that the camera does not become very littered well, and as a protection against condensation, if you overexposed it a little in the cold. Take a hot shot all day. Well, a SLR, it’s more difficult with it. He jumped out of the car and took it back. A couple of hours and the whole lens does not spin. The exposure involves a plus correction for white snow, however, as well as for any very open space. Moreover, the most important light meter is you. Choose the time and shooting conditions. Do not go into trouble - it’s best when the sky is slightly covered by cloudiness and this replaces the filter.

  • Dmitriy

    And I bought myself gloves with clipped fingers. True, I haven't tried it yet, our winter is "so-so" :)

  • Igor

    Faced such a situation! I took a photo for the newspaper of the enterprise labor collective of 25 people. We got together at the appointed time, parted, the weather is cloudy and it is snowing in the form of large flakes. You cannot reschedule the shooting, everyone is in a hurry - we have to work. The result is a photo in the newspaper, but with snow artifacts. Share your experience, please, how can you minimize the visual effects on the photo from the falling snow in terms of the selection of focal and exposure parameters ???

  • Andrei

    I filmed a wedding on a canon 550D at -38 with a strong wind (I shoot for 5 minutes on the street, warm for 5 minutes in the car), the only zoom ring stops spinning after a couple of minutes, and so the technique is okay, the bride seems to be too ...

  • anonym

    Correctly Equalizer, Not Equalizer

    • Arkady Shapoval


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