When you see snow photos of others, they always seem romantic. Beautiful. Clear. Fascinating. They show beautiful winter landscapes, the snow glistens in the sun, the sky shines in perfect blue. When it is foggy or cloudy, the pictures are still clear, calm, conjure up a pleasant atmosphere.
Understanding the exposure triangle cheat sheet
But your own snow photos are cloudy, muddy, dark.
We have 6 tricks for you, how to change that immediately. And even impressive snow photos!
Photographing in ice and snow isn’t particularly hard, but you’ll have to consider some things and settings to make the landscape look like it looks in reality: magical. Not muddy.
For this it is important that you know your camera and can set it manually.
Once you have internalized the technical basics, you can start!
Here are our 6 tips to get everything out of your snow photos!
1 Exposure correctly
Most snow photos fail due to the wrong exposure.
The many bright whites mislead the exposure meter, so the camera usually exposes the photos clearly too dark. Unfortunately, in case of snow, you cannot rely on this.
Try to overexpose manually (test an exposure correction to +1 first, then go higher or lower accordingly). Many of our snow photos are taken with an overexposure of +2 or more.
Due to the correct exposure, the snow really becomes white and not grey, which greatly enhances the image.
Your exposure should be so bright that in the bright areas the details are just as visible when zooming in. Be careful not to expose too brightly, the bright areas must not “eat out”.
2 Photographing in the morning or evening sun
Midday sun is always bad for photos, but for snow photos it is particularly tricky. When the sun is high in the sky, you can hardly avoid bright areas overexposed (see point 1). This destroys your image.
In winter, due to the early twilight, you are lucky that the light is unsuitable for photography only a few hours a day. Take advantage of this advantage and then set off when it is still (or already) bright, but the sun is lower in the sky.
3 Set the correct white balance
Even if they are properly exposed, winter pictures often still look grey or blue. This is due to the white balance. Ideally, you are photographing in RAW format (see point 4). This format allows you to adjust the white balance on the PC afterwards, so you don’t have to worry about it during your recording.
If you are photographing in JPG and your image has a grey or blue cast, you need to correct the white balance manually. To do this, you can either try around with the different color temperatures and see when your picture comes closest to reality. Or you can use the manual white balance, which you measure to a “reference white” in the snow.
4 Photography in RAW format
We always recommend taking pictures in RAW format. The images are much larger than ordinary JPGs, so you need more memory cards, but they also contain a lot more information that will be extremely useful for post-processing.
Snow and ice photos in particular benefit particularly when taken in RAW format. In post-processing in the RAW converter, you can optimize exposure, darken overexposed areas, set the perfect white balance and much more. So you get a lot out of your picture.
Here you can see a picture that we took far too darkly. The great motif is grey, muddy and boring. Thanks to our image processing, we were able to save a lot by moving fewer controllers without degrading the image quality.
5 Use a polarity filter for blue skies and rich contrasts
It looks wonderful when the bright blue sky is over a white winter landscape.
To make it look like this on your photo, you can use a polarity filter. You screw it up on to your lens at the front. Photographed with polar filters, your photos look clearer, cleaner and more saturated, the contrasts are amplified and the blue sky comes to the fore.
6 Pay attention to your equipment
Cold doesn’t matter to your camera. The batteries already. When cold, they keep much shorter and it’s very annoying when you finally arrive at your subject after a walk in the sizzling cold and don’t tackle your camera anymore. Therefore, in winter, always take a spare battery with you, which you carry close to your body, so that it stays warm.
Since snow is nothing but water, don’t put your camera in it and protect it and the lens from heavy snowfall.
Also take care of keeping yourself warm. Invest in good gloves for photography in winter, which are warm and still allow you to operate the camera.
Extra tip: Photograph even on grey and cloudy winter days
Dare to take away from postcard photos!
In our ideal idea of winter photos, the snow is bright white, the sky has a rich blue and the sun is shining in the sky.
But winter can also be very different. Dare to take pictures even in the fog and on cloudy snow mud days. These photos have their own special atmosphere. Often they also work really well in black and white.
Some of our best snow and ice photos were taken on foggy, cloudy days. Here we show you how to effectively protect your camera from moisture.
If you follow these tips, your snow and ice photos will improve significantly technically. You will no longer have grey, muddy photos of beautiful winter days and the colors will look like reality.
If you like your photos better now, but still seem too boring and arbitrary, read our article here. In this we give you 12 simple and directly actionable tips for the motif and image design, which will immediately improve your photos.
We wish you great photos, whether at home or at the other end of the world. Whether in the clear winter sun or in the cloudy fog!
If you have any questions, write to us in the comments! We are guaranteed to answer!
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