Last year I spent some time trying to get the best photo possible to remember a ice/snow covered back yard so I thought I would pass along some of the tips that I learned, and trust me I learned them the hard way. First lesson is if you shoot with a DSLR camera (Sorry, doesn’t help if you are using your iPhone) Is to be sure to use Aperture Mode. Why use Aperture you ask, and the answer is simply that it allows you to change the depth of field. Having just the subject in focus and making the background out of focus so that it doesn’t draw your attention.
Second big trick is to turn off the auto white balance. Let’s be honest for a majority of what we shoot have it set to auto really takes the stress off. The problem is that having all that “White” snow makes the camera auto adjust it to be grey. IF you don’t want to use a truly manual setting turn that dial to Cloudy. It put the slightly blue white of snow into just the right range.
Third big tip is to shoot in raw. I know, I know, it takes up so much space. Trust me when you open the files you are going to want to edit them and the best way is with a RAW file. If you shoot in JPG you are going to have highlights that you can’t get back but had you used RAW you would be sitting pretty (albeit in the cold).
Last big tip for capturing the winter wonderland (or children playing in it) is to keep your battery (and extra battery if you think you are going to be shooting a bunch) warm. I was surprised to find out ow quickly my spare battery lost power when it was cold, but that is nothing compared to the 2nd day when it was colder, and the battery was dead almost before I put it in the camera. You can’t capture a wonderfully winter seen if you don’t have a charged batter.
Good luck shooting and we can’t wait to see what you find and shot with your film or digital SLR Camera.