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5 things to do to make your snow photos look great!

“Did you SEE that Mummy! We can go an build a snowman! And play snowballs and …”

Here are out 5 top things to do if you want your snow photos to look beautiful.

1. Change your White Balance to ‘cloudy’ 

Your camera doesn’t really understand pure white ( and pure black for that effect ). Because of that, it tries to bring it down to a pale shade of grey and we all know how attractive grey snow looks. If you leave it to its own devices, the effect will be greyish, blueish photos. Changing your White Balance ( WB) to cloudy – warmifies the image, making it closer to how we perceive it.

2. Overexpose.

I know, counter-intuitive, but hear me out. This is again down to the whole not understanding white thing and trying to bring it back to grey which essentially ‘dims’ the picture. Find a button on your camera with a +/- on it ( that’s your exposure compensation button) and use the scroll wheel ( if you’re on DSLR – this might differ for bridge cameras) to push the meter towards +1. Take a few test pictures to double check and adjust as necessary but you should find them looking better than on ‘correct’ setting. Just don’t forget to bring it back to zero later!

3. Keep your shutter speed fast for pictures of falling snow unless you want them to look like lines.

Start from 1/250s and adjust upwards if necessary to preserve the roundness of the falling snow flakes. Go even faster for the obligatory snowball fight  of course! Just make sure your camera is nice and safe (snow = water = trouble)

4.  Think of your background and foreground.

Want to make it clear in the picture the snow is falling around your subject? Make sure your background has something dark in it ( trees are good) so that the bright snow flakes have something to stand out against. Using a shallow depth of field will help to blur some of the snowflakes in the front creating a layer of depth.

5. Think of the larger picture as well

It’s easy enough to zoom in on the red cheeks, excited smiles and snowflakes settling on the eyelashes but get the larger scene as well! Head out to the park or a wide open space and show the beauty and calm of the snowscape. If your child is wearing contrasting colour – even better – it will make them stand out against the background and draw the eye.

And above all – have fun!