Facebook Pixel How to Stay Motivated to Photograph Nature after Months in the Snow and Cold

How to Stay Motivated to Photograph Nature after Months in the Snow and Cold

I am a photographer. I love the outdoors and I live in the state of Minnesota. Even if you love snow and extreme temperatures, I can assure you that, by the end of January, you will be starved for some color in nature and less bulky clothing. Living in a ‘black and white’ landscape for several months every year makes you appreciate little things. As a photographer and nature lover you develop an eye for details. Here are a few tips to help you survive a long, cold and snowy winter while photographing nature.

First and foremost, be ready for extreme temperatures and wind chills before heading out into the woods. Hand and feet warmers and layers of clothing are common sense. Thin gloves under your heavy mittens so that you don’t get frostbites when you need to make camera adjustments are a good idea. Having a large plastic bag handy to seal your camera or your entire gear bag in before going back to room temperature will prevent heavy condensation on your precious equipment.

In the middle of winter, there will be a time when you find yourself in a creative rut, when you are going to get tired of photographing ‘Winter Wonderland’ however pretty it may look. You are starting to dream about grass, dirt, spring flowers and the return of the migratory birds. I usually reach that state of mind around mid January. So what do I do? I get out there with my camera and my snowshoes and I shoot.

What do I look for when out on a nature walk in January? I pay attention to details, patterns, the slightest bit of color, animal tracks, wildlife. Why not experiment with some black and white photography or use a creative effect lens such as the Lensbaby Composer? Here are a few examples of images I shot on some of the most dreary and cold days this winter, most of them within walking distance from my house:

Image: The color of the blue spruce really stands out in the snow.

The color of the blue spruce really stands out in the snow.

Image: Look for interesting shapes, here the shadow and drift look like a giant spoon

Look for interesting shapes, here the shadow and drift look like a giant spoon

Image: Patterns in the snow

Patterns in the snow

Image: Snow covered fox tracks

Snow covered fox tracks

Image: Use a shallow depth of field to isolate a detail

Use a shallow depth of field to isolate a detail

Image: Deer always look so beautiful in the snow. They are almost impossible to spot in the woods an...

Deer always look so beautiful in the snow. They are almost impossible to spot in the woods any other time of the year.

How to Stay Motivated to Photograph Nature after Months in the Snow and Cold

Image: Experiment with black and white

Experiment with black and white

Image: Need a little creative boost? A special effect lens such as the Lensbaby Composer can be a re...

Need a little creative boost? A special effect lens such as the Lensbaby Composer can be a really fun tool to look at nature differently

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are located in a cold state or country, spring is coming… Happy winter shooting!

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Valerie Jardin
Valerie Jardin

I live and breathe in pixels! Photography is more than a passion, it’s an obsession, almost an addiction. When I’m not shooting or writing, I spend my time teaching this beautiful craft during photo workshops all over the world! I am also thrilled to be an official X Photographer for Fujifilm USA. Visit my Website
Follow me on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram. And listen to my Podcast!

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