Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Photo Ideas for Winter

Winter can be harsh on the photographer. It's usually the bad and cold weather that makes us loose the will to go out and shoot. But there is actually lots to see during the winter months. Here are some photo subjects and themes that you can shoot all year round, no matter the weather, and scenes that you can shoot only because of it. I hope these ideas will be inspiring for some.




click on the images for a bigger view

1. Snow


It would be a pretty bad list of ideas of what to shoot during winter, if it didn't include snow. I do want to go one step further here though. If you don't want grey snow images here is a tip: slightly overexpose your snow images. Here is why: your cameras sensor, when faced with the color white naturally wants to level out the exposure between the light and dark parts of the image, and creates a grey shot. If you overexpose slightly, your whites will stay white. Tip for dslr users: You can also use manual white balance and get the same results. Also, as you can see in the image above, snow shots work in the dark as well. So try it out!


2. Stay Inside


Are snow storms and winds making it impossible for your to leave your home? Don't worry, this list includes at least two ideas you can do right from home. The first one is to shoot scenes inside your home, from cute morning scenes, like the one with Beni above, or shots of your interiors, portraits of people living with you, everyday chores and happenings, projects, ideas, baking, cooking, dinners, and so on and so on. Sometimes the creativity spurs when it's limited by certain factors.



3. Shoot Silhouettes


I agree, bare trees make for bland subjects, but framed correctly, they can evoke the spirit of winter. Like in the shot above, use them to create silhouettes. This works especially nice at sunset. But don't stop at trees. Make use of shadows, as well as city skylines. Both work well for silhouettes.



4. Black and White


When you take colors out of the equation, things opportunities suddenly become wider. You can always shoot black and white, not matter the time of the year. I especially like shooting black and white cityscapes during winter. The lights and shadows play well with each other, and it doesn't matter if the sky is overcast or grey, because, well, it's going to look like that in black and white anyway. Of course you don't have to stay in the city to do these. Try lone country roads, big vast fields, structures and objects, the world is your pickle.


5. Frosty Mornings


Sunrises are really great to shoot in winter. There is a certain feeling when the frosty morning cold bites your cheeks. This is one of those subjects you can shoot from your window, and don't have to leave the house. Try increasing the contrast later on to create an even more dramatic effect. Of course pale pastel colors work also well for a frosty morning.


6. Mountains


With our without snow, mountains are a great escape during the winter. Life flows differently here, and the number of photo subjects increases a lot. Try shooting woods and forests, snow covered mountain tops, lodges, paths and ski events.


7.  Night Photography


An overcast sky is usually the biggest downer when it comes to shooting in winter, but that all gets eliminated when you shoot at night. Night photography is a great way to get a lot from the dark season that is winter. Try playing with light and shadows, shoot parks and houses, city life, and always have your tripod with you. It's an essential tool for night photography. You can go wider and try shooting star trails and dusk in your town.


8. Winter Blooms


Not everything is still and dead in winter. There are a lot of things in nature that you can find in winter to shoot. Try exploring woods and forests (or even your own garden) to find them. Usually at the end of the winter period you will find signs of early blooms spread all around. A little bit of color in the grey months can be very refreshing.



9. Food and Drinks


This is a great photo idea all year round: Food Photography. I recently did a 5 Tips for Great Food Photography post, that you can check out for more detailed instructions. What's good about this is, that you don't have to leave the house, you have a very controlled environment, and you also get to eat the photo subject.


10. Moody Skies


Lastly, I want to touch upon the moody skies, that are prominent in winter. Mist, fog and clouds add so much depth to your landscape shots, that you shouldn't shy away from making these types of photos. But what's really important here is editing! Play with the contrast, and lift the bland grey layers from the image and show the starkness of the clouds and sky. I also have a tutorial on creating dramatic black and white landscapes that can very well be used on colored winter landscapes as well.



What are your favorite photo subjects in winter?
Share this post with someone who you think needs some inspiration during winter.


46 comments:

  1. Excellent Mersad. I almost always underexpose. It is easier to recover shadows than highlights.

    Shoot RAW and colour doesn't matter at all. If youare batch processing then set the WB to anything but auto. I leave mine on sunny.

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    1. Yes, but if you overexpose by one stop, that you can still recover in RAW. It won't matter.

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    2. Try it and you will find out. Highlights go grey. 50% grey.

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  2. I have a hard time with snow photos.. I just love your cute Beni! Thank you for the wonderful tips, Mersad! Enjoy your day!

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  3. Great ideas, Mersad, especially for Canadians where winter can be a very long season. :)

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  4. Great photo ideas, Mersad. We often just hibernate during the winter months... when there's so much beauty to be found. You prompted us to go, see, and photograph!

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  5. What a fab list Mersad.. I really like the silhouette and black & white ideas, favourites all year round.. Such a shame I'm never going to get the snow shots here in Perth :)

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  6. what a great list and awesome photos to accompany! that beni is just precious!

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  7. Thank you for the list, Mersad. I’ve practiced 3, 7, 8, 10 at least and have been awaiting for the first snow in the chilling air but in vain so far. 5 would be the most difficult for an owl. Beni is adorable and your photos are breathtaking as always.

    Yoko

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  8. i love the bare trees of winter and the moody, broody skies, too. :)

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  9. Great tips and beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing... I'm always looking for some inspiration!

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  10. Your captures are beautiful regardless of the season, but I do love your winter shots! Like Tex, I love the bare trees and the moody skies! Thanks as always for sharing the beauty! Hope your week is going well!!

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  11. i like all of yours and here mine is the same all year round.

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  12. Great ideas for pretty shootings in winter Mersad. The main problem for me is still the loss of natural light in the wintermonths, so that you have only a short time to take your picture and if you don´t hurry up, everything is gone. You know what I mean ;-)?

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    1. I know. But you can try night photography or interior photography from this list, during those times.

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  13. Lovely tips for creative photography !

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  14. Great photos & tips :-) I love to go out photographing also in the wintertime, but have to rush in much faster, brrrr.

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  15. Great photo ideas, Mersad. A very interesting tips!

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  16. My favorite is the cover shot, but all are fine. I think winter is more interesting than summer for taking pictures. Nevertheless, I am anxious for winter to end!

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  17. I usually shoot still lifes or other things I can do indoors. Rebecca

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  18. Fantastic list of wonderful subjects! I love your Beni, he is a sweety!!

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  19. My fave winter subjects are snow and skiers! But you knew that already. :)

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  20. Great ideas, each and every one!

    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/02/tijuana-sunrise-bottoms-up.html

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  21. Love your ideas...I'm clicking away from my car window from stoplights-and staying warm♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/eastward-ho/

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  22. Wie man hier gut sehen kann ist er doch nicht so öde^^ Tolle Aufnahmen.

    Liebe Grüsse

    N☼va

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  23. What a wonderful informative post. Such a lot of work you have put into it for us and I appreciate it very much. So many tips and surely none of us cannot come up with great shots no matter it is a dull winter day. I am now about to look at your tutorial you gave us at the end of your post Many thanks.

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  24. I don't know... the 6.5 feet of snow in Boston is cramping my style!

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  25. These are wonderful suggestions for winter photography. We have a lot of snow here and it's been too cold to get out much. I've resorted to some inside photos lately. Your photos are beautiful! Enjoy.

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  26. Great ideas! I may have to implement some of them this weekend...

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  27. I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I love the snow ... I love taking pictures in the snow, but I am not big on the cold. I can tolerate it if the wind is not blowing. My Izzi loves to play in the snow and some of my favorite pictures of her are snow captures. I really appreciate your suggestions and especially your information of WB ... that is another of my love/hate relationships ... I have really messed up some potentially good pictures by not having the right WB setting. I will try again using your suggestions and see how it goes. Like you I never put my camera aside ... inside or out, hot or cold, I have it with me. You are very helpful both in your suggestions and in sharing of your beautiful work. Thank you , Mersad ... it's been a pleasure again today ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  28. I am not a huge fan of snow when I need to drive in it! Otherwise it is beautiful and good to use in a photo or two. You knowledge of cameras and photography is terrific! THank you for sharing so much info here. You live in a beautiful area.

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  29. Interesting post and tips.

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  30. You have such variety of photos! Skills!

    ROG, ABCW

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  31. Wonderful shot for Good Fences. Some great tips and photos here too. The snowman made me smile. I really liked the mountain shot, winter blooms, your sweet little dog and the moody skies.

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  32. Wonderful shots and tips! Snow and very cold here today so I'll be staying in. :)

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  33. Your timing is perfect! I love the tips for #1.

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  34. Great tips and ideas, Mersad! I love your "moosy skies" one and all the photos are great. The tip about overexposure on snow was wonderful!

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  35. thank you for the interesting lesson.

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  36. great looking outdoor photos in winter. I especially like the silhouettes. {:-Deb

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  37. wonderful photos!
    great ideas for items to shoot and how to shoot them.
    I don't believe I'm so intentional about figuring out what to shoot at this (usually gloomy) time of year. You've definitely given my something to ponder.

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  38. That is an interesting addition to the list of why I like winters :)

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  39. Great list! I wish I had snow to work with, but your other ideas will keep me going!

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  40. some great tips!! I am having a hard time lately because we've had tons of snow and temperatures reaching minus 30 C!!! It's just way too cold out to have your bare finger on a shutter button for long. I needed a little help to start thinking outside the box.... or, fame I suppose. I have 3 kids and a cat -- honestly, I should not be stuck for photographic opportunities indoors!! ha

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  41. I like the tree photo, and the "moody" skies.

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  42. I love that last shot. Great sky!

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