Better Photos in the Snow

Learn a few tips and techniques to snap better photos while having fun in the snow!

Some cameras have a “snow” setting that automatically adjusts the setting for snowy conditions, but for those with manual controls adjust your white balance until the snow on your screen looks white, rather than blue.

While snow creates bright, light-filled photos, sometimes it can create too much and wash-out your favorite shots. Try turning on your flash to fill the dark areas with light in order to create a better balance.

Fields of white make a great backdrop to dark and bright colors. Use this to your advantage, as your subject will pop against the stark background, even when a small part of the image.

Do you want to capture the snow falling or Dad coming down the hill on a sled? With quick action items like snow falling and Dad sledding, be sure to increase the shutter speed to capture the perfect moment.

With the dramatic contrast that snow creates, try to increase it even more by turning your photos black and white!

And a few tips from expert photographers that shoot Tubbs Snowshoes, Ember Photography:

What is the most difficult part of photographing in the snow, and how do you make up for it?
Snow is bright, and it’s reflected light can often trick your camera into thinking that it is even brighter than it really is. Thus, your camera’s built in-light meter will automatically underexpose most images of snowy scenes, to make up for this perceived brightness, and your images will feature dark or grey snow tones…when they should be white. To solve this, you need to increase the relative exposure settings on your camera (“stop-up”) to capture more natural, white snow. Interestingly, the more cloudy or dim the snowy scene is, the more you need to compensate and “stop-up”.

What are the best subjects for photographing in the snow?
We love capturing movement and relatively fast action in the snow, whether it’s a downhill skier blasting through deep powder, or the wind swirling plumes of freshly fallen snow into the air along a mountain ridge or tree top. 

What makes a great photograph in the snow?
Some of our favorite snowy images involve the dramatic use of winter unique light. Scenes of people sihlouetted along a mountain ridge with snow blowing the sun streaking through from behind are hard to beat. We’re also big fans of images that capture the simple beauty and quiet of the winter landscape. 

*all photos featured in this blog were photographed by Ember Photography.