How to Take Landscape Photography in Winter Light

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Timing your shoot is more important in winter: you have a smaller window of daylight to work in. Sunsets and sunrises can be particularly stunning, and apps like SunCalc are great for working out where the sun will be and at what time. The sun rises later in the winter, which means that you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed at an unreasonable hour to get the perfect moment.

Remember, when you’re shooting for the colour of the light (usually sunrise and sunset) adjust your white balance manually, otherwise your camera will attempt to normalise the image, pulling out all that lovely colour. It’s worth getting to grips with the Kelvin System so that you’re confident with your choices.

Pastel sunrise over windmills in winter

Pastel sunrise over windmills in winter by iPics

Sometimes Winter can also feel like a dreary affair, where you have no option but to photograph a very grey landscape in cloudy, overcast skies. Even in this situation there are positives, however: It’s a great chance to make perfectly-exposed images where everything in the scene falls inside the camera’s native dynamic range. We’ll post-process just such a photo later in the tutorial.

What Kit to Use for Winter Landscapes

Your photography kit for winter landscapes will depend on exactly what it is you want to photograph and how, but I tend to use a 24-85mm lens to give me a little flexibility, plus a tripod. I also take along some filter packs; here are a few situations in which you might want to use filters during the winter:

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