Everyone knows that winter is the time for staying in front of the fireplace and maybe remembering the adventures over the last year, but a truly passionate photographer never takes a break and the winter cold cannot stop the most daring. While it is obvious that it is a lot harder to find interesting subjects for winter photography, many of these fears are only myths. Winter time can prove to be one of the most fascinating periods to find inspiration in photography and there are a lot of things that completely change during the frosty or snowy days of winter.
Of course, carrying loads of equipment in deep snow and staying for hours in below freezing temperature is not an ideal hobby, but there are still amazing things photographers can find during winter.
Ten Winter Photography Ideas
Capture pattern, texture, shape – From macro photography of snowflakes to the patterns created by frost on all kinds of surfaces, there are a lot of little details that only winter can reveal and create. One does not even have to venture far from home to find interesting subjects.
Winter mood in the city – Urban photography takes a whole new aspect during winter days, when the light is different and people look and behave differently. A morning or evening in big cities can offer a unique atmosphere that can also transpose into beautiful and inspiring pictures. Everything slows down during winter, from traffic to people and life in general, a great opportunity to practice your street photography skills.
Grand landscape photography at its best – Snowcapped mountain peaks, valleys and forests under the white blanket, frozen rivers and lakes, even the seashore and otherwise mundane landscapes can become awesome in winter, a white infinity with lines and dots can be a unique photographic subject. If you are not afraid of an adventure, plan a trip to the mountains in winter and you will be rewarded with splendid landscapes of white and green, best captured at sunrise or sunset.
Abstract photography – When nothing else works, search for abstract compositions which can occur a lot more often in winter than most people think. It is a lot simpler to look for such instances when there are not dozens of colors around to distract the attention.
Show the weather and its effects – From city traffic problems to the beautiful joy of children playing, cold and snow create a wide array of effects on people and the environments. Even portraits become a different challenge in winter, from clothes to lighting properties and more. In extreme weather like snowstorms or very low temperatures, it is also pretty hard to think about photography, let alone to do it well, but the rewards are also greater.
Capture winter action – There are a lot of things happening in winter including thrilling winter sports and adventures. From skiing to ice skating or even mountain climbing, whether you are a sports photography fan or simply lack subjects, search for the places where competitions and events are taking place.
Enter the holiday spirit – There are a lot of things happening in winter, including the Christmas with all its photographic opportunities, from Christmas markets to beautiful light displays. New Year’s is also a great moment to capture, although one first has to enjoy it and be together with the loved ones. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to take your camera everywhere if possible.
Indoor photography sessions – If you exhaust the subjects outdoor or it is simply too cold or bland outside, winter can also be the moment to develop your skills and train indoors. Photographing still life or setting up an improvised portrait studio for friends and family, there are many ways to use the time you spend indoor to continue taking pictures. Winter photography doesn't have to always be about the great outdoors!
Creative hibernation – The winter is usually a time for plans and goals, but it can also be the perfect period to improve your photography without touching the camera. You can start reading books and magazines about photography, learning about the new trends and technical innovations.
Catch a break – While this article is mostly about fueling your passion for photography no matter the season, it is also a good idea to take a break once in a while, catch your breath and spend time with friends and family over the holidays. You will most likely return to photographing with even more determination and ideas.
There are even more things one could think of photographing during the cold season, the only limit is your imagination, creativity and determination. There are certainly a lot of things to overcome, from personal safety to equipment limitations, but even these cannot stop the most passionate photographers from doing what they love. The best idea to remember is that winter does not decrease the number of photographic opportunities, it just transforms everything and there are unique winter photography subjects to be found.
These are fantastic ideas! Thank you!
Last Saturday I was at a park near my home, thinking I would take macros of snowflakes. And then, the different light and colors forced me to focus on some details I would have never picked in another season. My photos are among the best I have taken in months!