A Post By: Valerie Jardin
I am a photographer. I love the outdoors and I live in the state of Minnesota. Even if you love snow and extreme temperatures, I can assure you that, by the end of January, you will be starved for some color in nature and less bulky clothing. Living in a ‘black and white’ landscape for several months every year makes you appreciate little things. As a photographer and nature lover you develop an eye for details. Here are a few tips to help you survive a long, cold and snowy winter while photographing nature.
First and foremost, be ready for extreme temperatures and wind chills before heading out into the woods. Hand and feet warmers and layers of clothing are common sense. Thin gloves under your heavy mittens so that you don’t get frostbites when you need to make camera adjustments are a good idea. Having a large plastic bag handy to seal your camera or your entire gear bag in before going back to room temperature will prevent heavy condensation on your precious equipment.
In the middle of winter, there will be a time when you find yourself in a creative rut, when you are going to get tired of photographing ‘Winter Wonderland’ however pretty it may look. You are starting to dream about grass, dirt, spring flowers and the return of the migratory birds. I usually reach that state of mind around mid January. So what do I do? I get out there with my camera and my snowshoes and I shoot.
What do I look for when out on a nature walk in January? I pay attention to details, patterns, the slightest bit of color, animal tracks, wildlife. Why not experiment with some black and white photography or use a creative effect lens such as the Lensbaby Composer? Here are a few examples of images I shot on some of the most dreary and cold days this winter, most of them within walking distance from my house:
The color of the blue spruce really stands out in the snow.
Look for interesting shapes, here the shadow and drift look like a giant spoon
Patterns in the snow
Use a shallow depth of field to isolate a detail
Deer always look so beautiful in the snow. They are almost impossible to spot in the woods any other time of the year.
Experiment with black and white
Need a little creative boost? A special effect lens such as the Lensbaby Composer can be a really fun tool to look at nature differently
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are located in a cold state or country, spring is coming… Happy winter shooting!