Snow Photography

Video Lesson

Snow Photography (3:09) by Dennis Tsang

Many photography lovers might have this experience: when he takes photos in the cold, his camera just works a small fraction of the time, and it stops abruptly after finishing a few shots. In fact, if you are planning to take your camera into the cold, you must be aware of this chemical phenomenon: battery life in freezing temperature deteriorates around 20% to 40% faster than in room temperature. Also, some cameras or memory cards might stop working in low temperature (for example, under 0°C). As such, you might wish to use some heat pads (or even your own clothes) to warm your camera in no time. When it is warm again, you might be able to take it out to take one or two more shots.

As for exposure, if there is backlight in a snowy condition, you’ll need to slightly dial in one or two more stops of positive exposure considering that a snowy surface itself is a huge reflective blanket. Adding exposure can help avoid underexposing the object. As for camera gears, if you have Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL) or IR-CUT UV Filter, I suggest you give it a try for getting a perfect shot by enhancing the color density. The final word on my own experience: When it snows, there is more moisture in the environment, and it is easy for the camera lens to get condensation when you switch them. If you have enough equipment, I highly recommend you prepare two cameras and two lens (one long and one short) before heading outdoors for shooting so that you don’t need to change lens, and this will apparently improve both your mobility and flexibility.