How to improve your winter landscape photography skills!

Would you like to learn more about winter landscape photography?

In this article I would like to share some useful winter landscape photography tips with you.

1. Look for a color contrast.
When the snow is falling, the landscape changes drastically.  So much of the landscape becomes white that it can be quite challenging to find a focal element, as nothing really stands out.

When you are selecting your main focus, or focal point of your photo, search for a color contrast in the landscape. During days like this, you can search for elements of color that stand out in the otherwise white landscape.

Winter landscape with windmills and snow at Zaanse Schans
Windmills in snow storm at Zaanse Schans. Here I have used the color contrast from the green windmill as the main focal point.

2. Use the natural light during sunrise and sunset. 
During winter time, the sunrise and sunset can be very dramatic, especially right before or after snow storms. Keep in mind that during winter, the sun rises later in the day and sets much earlier.

An extra tip is that the light after sunset can be extraordinary. Elements of for example blue, pink or yellow can contribute to creating a photo with a special color light.

Sunrise in the small town of Vigeland in the south of Norway
Unexpected colors appeared during this sunrise in the small town of Vigeland, Norway.

3. Increase the exposure setting on your camera for sunny and bright photo conditions.
When you are shooting during sunny and bright winter conditions, or trying to capture the pure whiteness of the fresh snow, adjust your exposure compensation by +0.3 or +0.7. Cameras don’t know that you are shooting snow, so you have to tell the camera that you are shooting something bright and adjust your exposure. This way you get the desired snow colors.

Sunrise in the small town of Evje, Norway.
Sunny winter day in the small town of Evje, Norway. By increasing the exposure slightly I was able to capture more details of this landscape.

4. Take good care of your camera and the batteries in the cold.
Consider a weather protection cover for your camera when you are out in the snow or rain. Batteries lose their power when exposed to low temperatures. You can easily cheat the cold by keeping your spare batteries warm. Just keep the extra batteries in your inner pocket, and close to your body heat. Another very useful tip is to wait ten minutes before turning your camera on after coming in from the cold.  Electronic equipment in general need some time to adjust to sudden temperature changes.

5. Make use of natures special effects.
Is it snowing or did someone mention fog? This is your chance to go and get some unique photos. These weather conditions can create awesome effects in your winter landscape photos. When this landscape unfolded during a road trip in Norway, we just had to stop and get some photos.

Winter landscape photo of fog floating on the mountains in Norway
Winter landscape photo of Audnadalen in Norway. The fog is floating on the mountain side and the river is frozen.

6. Try to shoot during blue hour.
Take a walk after sunset during winter and experience first hand the special blue light that can add that magical atmosphere to your photos.

Good luck and stay warm!

Blue hour photo of a frozen lake in Norway, Ice has broken around the rock.
Photo taken during blue hour of a frozen lake in Norway. The broken ice in front of the rock makes a great foreground.

19 thoughts on “How to improve your winter landscape photography skills!

  1. Tom Hagen Photography 11 March, 2018 — 19:09

    Great tips. I am new to photography and to the winters of North Idaho and I can’t wait to try these out next winter. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment! I’m glad you could make use of the tips 😃


    1. That’s great! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. very useful tips for landscape photography!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you could make use of the tips 😃😃

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As it’s snowing right now where I live I’m going to try these tips. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good luck and let us know how it turned out✌

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tips. Finding that pop of color in the white landscape makes a big difference. I will keep this in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much! I’m glad you can make use of my article 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for these tips. I particularly like #6. I will have try that, maybe this evening although all our snow melted yesterday (Michigan, USA) but I will try it by the lake near my house.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds great! I’m glad you found my tips useful! 😊😊


  6. Thanks Marit. You are great

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great tips as I always struggle to get good shit for my blog as well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you find the tips useful 😊🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful! And helpful. I didn’t know to wait to turn on my camera after coming in from the cold. I’ve experienced battery drain in cold weather shooting. I had a small enough camera to hold it inside my large pouch pocket between shots. With my larger camera I put it inside my outer coat and held it close to where my other arm helped hold in heat. It helped enough so I could keep shooting the astounding ice encasements of plants after an ice storm. Some of my favorite images ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words! Yes the photos you can get after such a storm can be really unique. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very useful post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you find the tips useful! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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