How to Take Landscape Photography in Winter Light

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Although it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out and photograph landscapes in the winter, it can yield some of the nicest results, particularly if you make calculated use of the light this time of year. Learn how in this tutorial.

Protect Your Kit

Firstly, if you’re photographing in cold and inclement conditions, it’s wise to protect yourself and your kit. I’ll assume that you’re sensible and will wear appropriate footwear and clothing, so let’s move on to your equipment!

Here are a few tips I’ve found useful:

  • Sandwich bags are handy for temporarily keeping small items dry, but don’t leave them in permanently as they may collect condensation
  • Take a towel with you to dry off your tripod legs and any damp kit
  • Invest in a good camera bag that has a waterproof pullover
  • Take spares of everything and try to keep things like batteries warm: they drain faster in cold
  • If you’re walking around and want to keep your camera handy, tuck it under your coat to keep it out of the elements
  • Keep silica gel in your kit bag to attract any moisture, the pouches that comes in shoes and electronics are perfect
  • Take a plastic bag (or another towel) to stand your camera bag on if the ground is particularly muddy or wet
  • When you get home, leave everything out to dry thoroughly before you put it away

Photograph When the Light is Right

Winter days are shorter, but shorter days have benefits. The angle of the sun to the earth is lower in the winter, so even though the length of the day is shorter the amount of time you have a nice quality of light is increased.  The lower angle also exaggerates shadows, making them long and deep, which can be great for dramatic, high contrast pictures. The winter sun can create lots of great colour, too, as in the example below.

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