Nikon DSLR Tips: 53 essential ideas for bad weather photography

Winter is a good time of the year to take some beautiful photographs and grow to become a good photographer. Here are some good tips by Jmeyer in on capturing all the best things about winter and the reasons to look forward to winter. 

Capturing Fog, Mist and Frosty Mornings
It's winter time so your winter photo album would be empty without the best thing about winter, those beautiful fog and mist early in the morning! Your best chance to catch mist and fog is early in the morning. It's always good to get into the habit of carrying a camera with you wherever u can and set off for work a few minutes early just in case you see the perfect scene on the way in. Use a telephoto lens to flatten perspective and reduce objects to simple shapes. To preserve the pale, misty tones, apply a little exposure compensation, starting at +0.7EV and adding more if necessary. If you don’t, the camera’s system will make the mist come out a muddy grey.


Capturing Sunrise and sunset in winter
Whether you’re fetching the paper or taking the dog for a walk, take your camera. Sunsets can be disappointing, but winter dawns often bring the most spectacular red and pink tones. You have to shoot quickly as the effect can disappear in minutes. If you have time to plan, look up sunrise and sunset times, and make sure you’re in a good location.


Protect your camera
Sea spray can leave gritty deposits on your lens, so consider fitting a UV filter. It won’t affect the pictures, but will protect the lens. Strong winds off the sea can carry sand into your camera’s crevices so put your camera in a plastic bag and fix the opening around the lens barrel with a rubber band. Always use a shoulder strap in case the camera slips out of your hands, and keep spare batteries in an inside pocket – extreme cold reduces their capacity.


Capturing Blue skies and snow
Sometimes, the contrast between colour and no-colour is really effective. Look for simple compositions, and be careful with the exposure. You’ll need to apply positive EV compensation to make the snow come out white and not grey.


Capturing Stormy winter skies
To capture a dramatic effect on cloudy sky you’ll need to use a graduated filter and, maybe, do a little work in Photoshop. Remember to treat the sky as part of the composition, not just an empty space. The shapes of the clouds are compositional elements too, and the extent to which you darken (or ‘burn in’) the sky will affect the balance of the picture too. Dodging and burning is normally considered to be a black-and-white technique, but it’s every bit as effective in colour photography too.


ND filters
If the light is too bright, use an ND (neutral density) filter. To control the bright skies it's better to use ND filter.


Quick tips for using filters

Square filters
Square, not circular, filter systems let you use the same holder and filters with  all your lenses. All you need are different adaptor rings.

Get a polariser
Polarising filters intensify blue skies and cut down glare and reflections from water.

Grads are great
Graduated filters tone down bright skies on overcast or stormy days.

NDs for blur
Neutral density filters let you use longer exposure times to create blurry effects.

Excited for winter?


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