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Photography In The Cold Winter

Photography In The Cold Winter

As winter rapidly approaches, so do great opportunities to capture later sunrises and earlier sunsets. We photographers tend to emerge in locations before the sun rises, or before it sets. Early morning shoots are cold anyway, but they’re even colder in the winter. Then, at the end of the day when we capture that sunset the temperature can quickly drop. Extreme cold is not for the fainthearted. This is when the true bravery of winter photographers really shines through.

This video by Neil Fisher has some excellent tips for shooting in extreme cold.

Photography In Extreme Cold

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Just watching this video makes me shiver. I’m no stranger to the cold weather as in an earlier stage in my life I completed a Military Arctic Survival Course in Tromso, Norway. I did not enjoy it one bit. What I did learn, is how to prepare properly for extreme cold. Winter Photography is no exception. There could be no greater feeling of disappointment in leaving warmth and shelter in pursuit of a masterpiece only to find you are underprepared, uncomfortable and your camera is failing you.

The great news is, with better planning and preparation, you can avoid shivering, enjoy the moment and capture some beautiful images.

Key Points Taking Photos in Winter

I have highlighted some of the most important sections covered in this tutorial video. You will see the timeline and what subject is covered.

  • 1:00 – Preserving Energy
  • 2:53 – Eyeing up the shot
  • 3:43 – Dealing with temperature changes
  • 5:05 – Stay out for long periods
  • 6:15 – Slowing down in the Cold
  • 7:03 – Benefits to shooting in Winter
  • 7:42 – Tripods
  • 8:53 – White Balance and Exposure
  • 9:59 – Take extra care of your equipment

The Dos and Don’ts for Photography In Extreme Cold


  • Dress appropriately.
  • Wear many layers.
  • Do pack snacks to eat.
  • Drink Plenty of water.
  • Wear a warm hat and gloves to protect you from the cold.


  • Change memory cards over snow.
  • Blow snow off your lens.
  • Carry your camera in your jacket.
  • Bring your camera indoors with snow on it.
  • Let snow inside your camera bag.

From Mountains to Ice caves, Sunrise to sunset. There is always beauty present in our winter wonderlands.

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For more hint and tips for taking photos in winter:

Because of the abundance of white snow in winter, we need to be conscious of our white balance. Getting white balance right in the camera will help you avoid colour cast. That is just one thing we need to remember when photographing in extreme cold. here are 13 Snow Photography Tips: A Beginner’s Guide.

Some of us are fortunate to live in parts of the world surrounded by natural beauty. If you are actively chasing winter photography here is the Top 10 Best Winter Photography Locations Around The World.

Glaciers are one of the most beautiful formations we can capture. Sadly they are rapidly disappearing, like the Shrinking Patagonian Glaciers. If you are a travelling photographer, you need to visit some of the glaciers that won’t be with us for much longer and help chronicle them for future generations.

Photography In The Cold Winter
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