Shooting on snowy days

It's the cold season again. Here a few Tips & Tricks to get the perfect shot when enjoying the winter wonderland.

Keep Warm
Dress warm and in layers, otherwise you might not last long enough to get that great picture you were looking for. Fingerless gloves with optional fingertip covers can be handy for manipulating you camera controls, so you can keep warm most of the time and expose your fingertips only when needed.

Spare Batteries
In cold conditions batteries won't last very long. Bring a few extra batteries and carry them in an inside pocket to keep warm. After you switch batteries, put the "dead" battery in the inside pocket, it might give you a few more shoots later in the day, once it's warmed up again.

Camera Bag
Snow can quickly turn into rain. Bring a descent camera bag to protect it, and a clear plastic bag with a hole at the front for the lens to be able to keep shooting when this happens.

Exposure Compensation
If your photo is composed mostly of snow but only features a dark, small subject, then your subject will most likely be underexposed and the overall shoot might turn out greyish. The problem is that snow is pure white, and when you take a picture your camera exposes it accordingly, assuming the contrast range is normal. The solutions to these problems is to overexpose the shoot by about one stop using your camera's exposure compensation control.

White Balance
Snow confuses cameras and your shoots often turn out bluish. You can fix the white balance by manually set the camera's white balance using a sheet of white paper before you start shooting, or use a manual setting such as tungsten or cloudy day. Best is to shoot in RAW mode, so can correct your images afterwards and not have to worry about white balance at all when taking your pictures.

Don't try to take pictures as soon as you come out of the warmth into the cold and vice versa. The camera needs to acclimatise, otherwise your camera will mist up and you're going to get condensation.