The winter weather has come early to the UK, but instead of hiding away inside in the warm, treat it as a chance to take some stunning winter images. As long as you keep yourself safe, (no walking on icy lakes), and keep your camera as warm as you can, it’s a great time for creative photography. You’ll also see things that you never see the rest of the year.
A frosty car windscreen is a perfect example. I’ve used a 50mm macro lens from inside the car (out of the wind!), and made sure the background was dark to give better contrast. These ice crystals are a pain to shift when you want to drive, but are simply beautiful to photograph. Their fractal character means they look like feathers, or ferns.
Icicles are excellent photographic subjects. This one, at the base of a wind turbine, seemed to be not very bothered about which direction it grew in. It only started to point downwards near its end. Again I needed to control the background to make the icicle stand out. The out-of-shot sky was blue, which gave blueness to the shadows, and gave a very cool feel to the image.
Snow images often benefit by being turned into black & white. I loved the way the winter sun formed long shadows across the snow by the table. The low early morning sun really picked out the snow’s textures, and the black & white conversion simplified the image. My high viewpoint helped to give a strong, simple composition. As with most snow pictures I needed to give some positive Exposure Compensation so the snow came out white, and not grey.
For most of the year the ground under these trees is mostly brown. This means that the colour contrast between the trees and the ground is quite low. The snow on the ground changed all that, and allowed a pattern picture with a contrasting foreground. The trees’ shadows gave more contrast and texture to the snow. I cropped it into a vertical letterbox to accentuate the trees’ shapes.
Although a lot of the time it’s quite hard to see birds, the snow lets you see where they have been. This bird has walked, not hopped, and left a great trail running diagonally across the image. I’ve dropped down to get the best angle, and focused on the nearest track. I let the other tracks go out of focus, into the darker area. Control of focus is a powerful compositional tool for photographers.
As you can see the winter weather is a great aid to your photography. Wrap up warm, and use all that reflected light creatively!