Winter Photographs: Quiet Beauty (Photograph Collection)
Peaceful Photographs of Winter Scenes
As the days grow shorter, light grows more scarce this time of year, as do the colors. Winter photography has a stark character unlike that of the other seasons. But its unique beauty can be captured in photographs that illustrate the cold, barren months.
The earth is sleeping. Often covered in a white blanket and decorated with ice crystals. It is a quiet beauty. Even bustling city streets get a hush when the snow falls.
Take out your camera and explore the quiet scenes along back roads, in the mountains, or perhaps even in your backyard. When the first snowflakes start to fall, you are certain to feel a child-like excitement!
All photographs in this hub are the property of Stephanie Hicks. Please contact me for permission to use.
Taking Winter Photographs
Taking winter photographs is an exercise in finding the right light. In many respects, winter is a more forgiving season than the spring, summer and even fall. Low light and the lack of overhead sunlight means that washed out colors are rarely a problem. On the other hand, glare can be exacerbated with the low angle of the sun at this time of year.
Overcast days are always your best bet. The natural filter yields the best lighting for your shots. Clear days offer a nice contrast of brilliant blue skies, white clouds and stark white snow. But I love those days that hang heavy and gray. They offer the best contrast for winter photographs.
If you are a novice, then just about any point and shoot camera will work. Hold your arms close into your body to minimize shake, which will increase sharpness. If you can afford a tripod, you will be able to get even more sharp, professional looking shots. Otherwise, hold your elbows into your torso and/or brace your body against a building or tree to get the clearest photographs.
Winter Photograph Composition
Light has an important role in any photograph composition. During winter, there is less light, but more room for artistry.
Brilliant, overhead sunlight can wash out colors and leave distracting shadows. So, you can take advantage of favorable light during winter months.
Snow can either be the subject of, or a beautiful backdrop for, photographs. Its soft, forgiving texture, light and color is muted and comforting.
Things to Avoid When Taking Winter Photographs
Turn off the flash and use a slow shutter speed. You'll want to have a tripod on hand to prevent blurriness. If you use a flash, you'll get too much brightness and it will wash out the subject of your photograph.
Much like flash, bright sunshine can be a bit much on a snowy, winter day. The reflection of sun on snow may be harsh, or cause deep shadows. Overcast days usually work best for lighting when shooting photographs on a winter day. This is not to say you cannot take photos when the sun is out - its just a bit more difficult to get exposure correct.
Subjects of Winter Photographs
Soft, white snow is beautiful, but when taking photographs, there should be a clear subject of your composition. Are you photographing your home? A big snowdrift? Maybe it's a snowy road.
Frame the subject accordingly, and be sure to avoid distracting elements like power lines, directional signs or fences - unless they are part of the scene you wish to depict.
Children playing in the snow is a popular subject of winter photographs. Animals are another great subject.
I enjoy taking close-up shots of tree branches and scenic landscapes including snow and rivers or lakes. Snow-covered mountains are also particularly beautiful.
Another popular subject of winter photographs is a shot that tells a story. I took a few pictures during a recent cold blast here in Oregon. Our patio furniture was left out and looked quite funny with 4 inches of snow on them. I also shot the very cold looking dog bowls on our back porch.
© 2010 Stephanie Hicks