Eight winter photography tips and ideas

There's no need to hibernate with your camera when the weather gets chilly - get inspired by our winter photography ideas and head outside to see what you can snap. 

LAKE DISTRICT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Mist seen over Lake Windermere from Todd Crag on November 03, 2015 in the Lake District, United Kingdom.

PHOTOGRAPH BY Ashley Cooper / Barcroft Media

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There’s no need to hibernate with your camera when the weather gets chilly – get inspired by our winter photography ideas and head outside to see what you can snap. 

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1. Shoot foggy mornings

If fog is forecast head out at first light, before the sun burns mist away. Try shooting trees emerging from the fog or head somewhere high up and look for a cloud inversion in the valley below.

2. Take frosty macro shots

Leaves Covered in Frost

Head out to the garden or a local park on a chilly morning and search for frosty leaves – they make for a beautiful macro shot. Shoot straight downwards for a still-life effect. 

3. Snowball fun

Three generational family having snow ball fight, in alpine landscape

Take a family portrait with a difference next time you’re out playing in the snow. Use an exposure compensation of 1-1.5EV to keep the white background bright and up the ISO to 1000 to capture all the action.

4. Winter birds

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You don’t have to venture far to find wild birds to photograph – your back garden is a great place to start and birds will flock to a feeder in winter. Try photographing them from your kitchen window so that they’re less scared of you. Use a telephoto lens on a tripod to get you up close and make sure your feathered subject’s eye is in focus. 

5. Deck the halls

Christmas Decoration

If it’s tipping it down outside stay cosy indoors and try taking pictures of your Christmas tree decorations. Use a wide aperture and a macro lens – include out-of-focus fairy lights in the background for a magical bokeh effect.

6. Capture star trails

Night landscape

If you leave your camera’s exposure open long enough you’ll capture the movement of a starry sky. This is an advanced technique and you’ll need a location far from any light pollution, but it’s worth it for the spectacular images you can come home with.

7. Outdoor portraits

Smiling Young Woman

If the world is cloaked in freshly fallen snow head outside and shoot some people pictures. Bright white snow is a natural reflector, and overcast light gives a beautiful soft look to portraits. 

8. Keep your camera safe

Nature photographer
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Rain and snow can damage your camera, so take precautions. Pack a binbag and a shower cap in your camera bag for makeshift rain protection. Carry a spare battery, as they can die quickly in the cold, and make sure your bag has plenty of padding for your camera body and lenses – plastic and glass are more brittle at low temperatures.