Taking photos in a winter environment is very different to taking pictures at other times of year. Shooting early in the morning or during the evening can often result in great shots, but in a bright and white snowy landscape you should know how to adjust your camera’s settings to get the best possible shots.
If you want to take landscape shots then an 18 to 55 mm lens will probably be a good choice, but you should also bring a telephoto lens if you want to get some close ups of the action, particularly if you are shooting skiers or snowboarders on the slopes, as you will not be able to get very close in person. Short exposure times will be best for action shots. You should generally use the shortest exposure you have, although experimenting with different techniques may produce unexpected results.
Avoid overexposure. Try pointing your camera at the sky, away from the sun, on a bright day, while you are fixing the exposure, rather than at the snow. On an overcast day, set the EV compensation to plus 2 to counteract the camera’s natural underexposure of white, snowy scenes. Custom white balance can help to keep the snow looking white rather than too blue, yellow or grey.
It is a good idea to find out as much as you can about the sports that you will be photographing before you go out since it will enable you to anticipate how people will move so you can plan how to get the best shots. For instance, if you are photographing skaters on the ice, make sure you are aware of the way that they are reflected in the ice since you can use this to create interesting shots.
You need to keep your camera safe when you are photographing in snow and ice. A plastic bag or cover can protect it from the weather, but you should also be careful about taking the camera back inside at the end of the day. Don’t take it immediately into a very warm room, as this could result in condensation forming inside it. You should also expect your camera batteries to be used up quicker than usual when you are shooting at a low temperature.
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