How To Photograph Snow

With the first snow, we see a transition in the nature around us. Life seems to take a pause, preparing to hibernate until spring knocks on the door. Photography enthusiasts around the world will be out with their cameras capturing the beautiful snow. Learn how to photograph snow in a language that is easy to understand.

Snow Photography

Aperture:

Finding the right balance is the key to achieving the picture you have in your mind. A wider aperture will help you get a soft background with the snow-flakes slightly out of focus, forming a snow-bokeh.

Choosing to work with a small aperture will produce a sharper image where the darker outlines of the background would be merged with the snow. In this setting, using a slower shutter speed can help you achieve the streak effect in your foreground.

Shutter Speed:

The shutter speed influences the light and the form that snowflakes take in the photo. A slow shutter speed will get you streaks of snowflakes, while a fast shutter speed will help you freeze a the action, giving you a sharper image sprinkled with snowflakes.

Focal Length:

Your focal length will determine the scene you create in an image. Long focal lengths make your image more compact and concise. It gives your picture a layered look and the finer elements of the background become soft. This helps you lead your viewer’s eye through the depths of the photo.

Light:

Sun and snow don’t go well together. The sunlight is reflected powerfully off the snowflakes blotting the highlights of the image. Overcast conditions are perfect to do a snow shoot, but you could take the HDR route to shoot when the sun is shining brightly. You can produce some stunning HDR images in the snow by balancing the highlights & kids with the lows. Carefully frame the image to get the most out of HDR effect.

White Vignette:

This is a nifty trick to make your photo stand out and worth hanging up on a wall. Just as we use a black vignette for lomographic photos, try using a white vignette for your snow photos. This renders a flowing wintery feel to the image.

Don’t hesitate to try various combinations of aperture, shutter speed &focal lengths to get interesting images.

About Chaitanya Shah

Digital Strategist | Aspiring Entrepreneur |Founder - Lunchex.co
  • Kelly Rodriguez

    This is a great post. We had so much snow last winter, and although it’s definitely not my favorite, I made attempts to photograph it and capture its beauty. Next winter, I will definitely try these tips. Thank you so much.

    Kelly
    http://www.alovelylifeindeed.com

    • Thank you for writing Kelly! I hope you find these tips useful. Look forward to seeing your snow photos. Cheers!