5 Tips for Better Winter Landscape Photography

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Born and raised in Norway, my opinion might be slightly biased but winter is my favorite season for photography.  Sure, it’s a cold and harsh season but there are so many opportunities to capture beautiful winter landscape images both during the day and night.

I haven’t always been a fan of winter photography, though. In fact, it took me several years after purchasing my first camera before I brought it with me on skiing and hiking trips. Needless to say, it didn’t take many trips before I was hooked and began looking forward to next winter. I quickly realized that photographing during winter is in many ways different than any other season.

There are several new challenges you need to handle and, quite often, everything is white. How do you handle that? Here are five tips to capture better winter landscape images.

1 – Look for Color Contrast

After a few days of heavy snowfall, the landscape here in Norway is completely white. White trees, white lakes, white mountains and normally a white sky. When everything is white, it’s quite challenging to find a focal element as nothing really stands out.

During days like this, you should be searching for elements of color that stand out in the otherwise white landscape. Here’s an example of a house captured the morning after a heavy snowfall.

5 Tips for Better Winter Landscape Photography

The red cabin is what makes this picture interesting. Without it, the scene lacks a focal element and the viewer’s eyes have no place to rest.

I find red to be a particularly pleasing color in situations like this but search for any dominant color. Perhaps there’s an autumn leaf laying on top of a thin layer of snow, or maybe it’s a few skiers wearing red jackets. Just find a dominant color in the otherwise white landscape and use that as your focal element.

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