Capture the winter - Close up photography of winter
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Winter photography: tips for beginners
Bright summer sun and vivid autumn colors have gone away, but it is not the reason why you should leave at home your digital camera. Do not you think that sleeping nature, snowy landscapes and New Year lights may compose a breathtaking image? Surely these all are well worth photographing. So if you dare go on winter photo session, you should be aware of some difficulties any ¡®winter¡¯ photographer faces.
Winter photography requires an outstanding imagination, good luck (we all know that winter scenery is not very diverse), and of course some technical knowledge. This article contains some recommendations which are sure to help amateur photographer avoid some mistakes and get technically good photos.
Winter scenery is not so colorful as summer. Though, on a sunny day, a photographer can take a few magnificent photos of snowy landscapes which will render an atmosphere of a crispy winter day. For this you just have to learn how to use at your advantage a contrast of sparkling white snow and deep shadows.
The major difficulty relating to winter photography is connected with exposure. If you manage to set a correct exposure, you are sure to get a good images. The problem is that a sunny winter landscape has such intensive light that neither a film, nor a sensor of a digital camera are able to express its intensity. As a rule, an auto mode of a camera doesn¡¯t show good results at such conditions. When shooting in an auto mode, you may lose some details either on a bright or dark part of an image. In other words, you risk getting a dark silhouette of a subject on a bright background.
What is a solution?
First of all, we shouldn¡¯t forget about scene modes which are specially created to simplify our life. Most modern digital cameras have a Beach/Snow mode, which allows to successfully overcome these problems.
Besides, you can always set your camera manually according to a situation. Often it helps to get much better results. Multi-pattern exposure metering, which is used by default, will hardly suit winter conditions. You¡¯d better use a center-spot metering in combination with AE Lock. That¡¯s very easy. Just set a center-spot metering (as a rule you can do it through the menu), then focus on your subject so that it was in the center of a frame and half press a shutter button. The camera will automatically set a correct exposure for an object, without taking into account the brightness of the whole image, and will fix this exposure. Now, you can move a camera and change composition, without releasing a shutter button. Exposure won¡¯t change and you¡¯ll be able to take a nice winter image.
You can also try to illuminate the foreground with a flash. But remember that a common built-in flash has a limited intensity and is suffice only at about 3 meter¡¯s distance.
In the next post we¡¯ll speak about winter photography at night and on cloudy days.
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