5 tips for Winter photography

5 tips for Winter photography

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Last Saturday, for the first time in absolutely ages I got up early to take photographs.

It was a crisp Winter’s morning - bitterly cold and frosty with a hint of sunshine.

I’d checked the weather forecast the night before and set my alarm.

My plan was to take the bus up the hill and be on Wimbledon Common as the sun started to rise from 7.30am.

Why was I doing this? (when I could easily have rolled back over and gone back to sleep)

The first reason is I’ve started an online course learning about photographing in Winter - the colder and darker time of year.

The course is called Gloom and Glow and there’s a lovely group of us cheerleading each other on as we set out to brave the elements and get the shots.

The second reason is that I have realised I need to make more time to get back to nature and take pictures. There's no better practice than working with the elements.

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Hand on heart it felt really good to be photographing at this time of day. My fingers may have felt like icicles but it made that first hot coffee even more delicious and special.

Photography-wise it could have gone better. My Fuji X100 camera could not cope with the cold so froze up after about 45 minutes. 

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But I found myself paying attention to the little things - how the morning light catches the leaves on the trees, the crazy patterns created by the frost and ice before anyone has set foot on them. Most of all the feeling of calm and peace at being one of a handful of people on such a big open space.

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About 8 years ago and working as a press photographer, I’d often be up early with my camera. It’s a time I look back on fondly as I took some pictures I’m really proud of.

Last Saturday reminded me of those days and how sometimes you just need to go that little bit further to make the picture. It’s easy to say there’s not enough time in the day but actually you can factor it in and it will be worth it.

 Snow in London, February 2009 - Katie Collins/Press Association

Snow in London, February 2009 - Katie Collins/Press Association

 Snow in London, February 2009 - Katie Collins/Press Association

Snow in London, February 2009 - Katie Collins/Press Association

So I have a few suggestions if you are setting the alarm early -

 

1. Dress warmly - particularly your feet - there’s nothing worse that bitterly cold toes. Not to everyone’s taste but my Ugg boots have kept my feet so warm over the years. I tried so many shoe/boot combinations, but for me, these are what worked best. Gloves or mittens are equally important. I wear warm trousers by Craghoppers and rely on Uniqlo’s Heattech range -it’s amazing! 

 

2. Check the weather - decide where you want to shoot and check the weather. Check what time sunrise is and what conditions you might be facing.

 

3. Camera vs iPhone - I prefer shooting with my DSLR. I use SD memory cards and I have a card reader by Apple that connects to my phone. It means that if I want to look through my pictures or upload to social media I can do so quickly and easily. You just pop the SD card into the card reader and plug into your phone. It will then import the images to your camera roll.

 

4. Edit on the move - it’s worth looking through your shots and editing your favourites. My go to Editor on the iPhone is Snapseed. VSCO is also popular. On these apps you can adjust the colours adding warmth or coolness, add contrast, brighten up. There are lots of editing options at your fingertips.

And finally...

5. Share your work - there are the obvious routes - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. If you’ve been up at the crack of dawn you may as well share what you’ve been up to! There’s also a great app called Stockimo which gives you the opportunity to sell your work. It’s run by the stock photo agency Alamy and you simply upload your images and if accepted, Stockimo sell them on your behalf giving you a cut of the profit.

 Snow on Wimbledon Common in 2010 - Katie Collins/Press Association

Snow on Wimbledon Common in 2010 - Katie Collins/Press Association

For more information about Gloom and Grow run by Sara Tasker head to this page - https://meandorla.co.uk/gloom-glow/

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