It’s such a rare occasion that it snows here in Texas where I live, so when it does, we get outside as much as we can to take snow pictures! I have had so much fun over the years on the 1-2 snow days we have from time to time. Yes…can you believe it – if we get snow, it is usually just a little bit of snow for a couple of days max. Then it quickly melts into slush with dirt! Yuck! But when it first falls, it is beautiful, and I am always able to get some really incredible pictures!
I’m always a bit nervous heading out into the deep snow with my Canon 5D Mark III, because it is not weather proof at all! And…I always have a flashback to the day that my son, Zach, pelted me with a snowball and directly hit my Canon 60D right on the lens!! I was amazed at his accuracy. He was about 3 or 4 at the time, and when he saw it splat all over the front of my camera, he busted out laughing. I laughed at his reaction, and then panic set in when I realized what had happened.
Lucky for me (and him), it was not a big deal. Most of the snow fell right off, and I dried it up quickly and took my camera inside! But like I said in the caption – how stupid was I to not see what was coming? Look at his eyes – they scream trouble! Right? Now that my kids are older, they know that when I’m carrying my camera, I am off-limits! To get a good snow ball fight picture, you really have to be right in the middle of it all, so I don’t have many of those shots. My favorite shots are of the kids building snowmen or sledding down the hills around our house!
I read a great article called Nick’s Photography Tips: 13 Tips for Photographing Snow. When I first started taking pictures in the snow, my pictures looked a bit dull, and the snow never really looked as white as it actually was. This article will help you figure out how to change your settings so your pictures will reflect how beautiful the snow actually is! And my favorite tip from this article is that if you are going to try to take a landscape picture of the beautiful snow, then don’t walk in it first! I cannot tell you how many times my kids have run ahead of me and totally messed up the beautiful fields of snow before I could get a shot!
So…like I said before, most of my snow pictures are of my children building snowmen or sledding down the hills! I have managed to get a few nice landscape shots, but usually by the time we get all dressed up in snow clothes and out the door, the fields have all been trampled by the other neighborhood kids! I’d have to get up very early to capture some undisturbed snow beauty around here. It’s just so rare that when it happens, everyone wants to experience it!
Now if you’re just starting out, I found some very helpful hints on the DIY Photography Website in an article titled 15 Beginner Tips for Winter and Snow Photography. It has some excellent information and tips for getting some great pictures out in the snow! I still refer back to this article every season before the snow hits. Since it is so rare that we get snow, I don’t shoot in these conditions much – seems like I need a refresher course each year (if we are lucky enough to get snow).
Some of my favorite tips are listed below:
- Dress Appropriately – this is key to your success! If you are cold, you will be miserable! Believe me – I speak from experience. Jeans don’t really cut it – if you’re like me, and you get not he ground when you need to for the perfect shot, you will be soaking wet and freezing very quickly! And don’t forget your fingers – your fingers will freeze first! I always have real gloves nearby in case it gets really cold, but most of the time I use “fingerless” gloves. My favorite pair has a little flap that you can pull over to cover your fingers in between shots!
- Keep Your Camera Cold – I know this sounds weird, but if your camera warms up too much, then your lens will get foggy! It seems to take forever for this to correct itself, so it’s best if you can keep it from happening in the first place.
- NEVER Delete Images in the Field – whatever you do – leave all images until you get home. What you see on the little screen on your camera is almost never what you will see when you are on your computer in editing mode! So…wait until you get home to start deleting!!
- Slightly Over-Expose Pictures – sometimes snow pictures look a little blue. If you don’t have time to set a custom White Balance, just over-expose a little bit. You can always adjust it in Lightroom or Photoshop afterwards!
So…there are many more things to think about that you can read in the article (click title above), but those were the main points that stood out and spoke to me! If there’s something else you know about – a trick to get good snow pictures, please let me know! My pictures in the snow have gotten much better over the years, but it’s still a learning process for me.
And if you’re worried about your camera getting wet, just order one of the rain covers below. It’s not too heavy – it just keeps your camera safe from the elements (which in my case are flying snowballs)! These covers are reusable, durable and compact enough so they can fit easily in a bag or a pocket. Also…they can work if your camera is attached to a tripod instead of just being hand held!
Enjoy the media gallery below. It includes all the pictures I sent out on email to my family after another crazy, fun day in Allen! Lots of snow, sleet, and dirt!!! Until next time…