Prepare for Instagram likes to roll in faster than the snow. By Stacey Leasca
February came in with a snowy roar across much of the United States. In California, the Sierras saw some seven feet of snow, much to the delight of skiers and snowboarders at Mammoth Mountain and across Tahoe. And in New York, city dwellers experienced a winter wonderland scene they hadn’t experienced in years. Now that the flakes have settled there’s only one thing left to do: Head outside and take pictures to remember the weather event forever.
Boston-based photographer Neal Kumar knows a thing or two about how to capture the perfect winter snaps and is happy to share his tips with all of you. The best part? All of his images are shot on the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, making his tips all the more accessible for amateur and professional photographers alike. Here are a few of Kumar’s tips to help you take the best wintertime photos of your life.
Early bird gets the worm
“If possible, I recommend going out to shoot snow as early in the morning as you can. This increases the chances of catching streets and sidewalks covered in fresh snow before it is shovelled.”
“Sometimes it helps to decrease or darken the exposure on your shot if the image appears very bright in your camera from all the snow. You can always increase exposure or shadows later while editing, but it’s harder to save details that are overexposed.”
“When editing your snow photos, play around with the white balance settings (temperature and tint). The snow should be white in colour, and if it’s too yellow then try turning down the temperature. You can also see if adjusting the tint helps make the colour (or white balance) of the snow look more natural.”
Find a background with contrast
“To make falling snow more noticeable in your photo, it helps to contrast the white snowfall against a dark background like a building or trees. This will highlight the white of the snowflakes and make them more prominent. Sometimes if the background is too bright, then the falling snow is harder to see against it.”
Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more
“If it is actively snowing, then I recommend taking a couple back to back versions of your shot. This is because the snowflakes can be in different patterns depending on when your shot is taken. Taking more shots also increases the chances you get bigger snowflakes in the shot that are closer to you for a different effect. I find that falling snow is sometimes more noticeable when shot on the zoom lens. You can also try shooting the same scene both at 1x and 2x (or 2.5x on the iPhone 12 Pro Max), and then see which version you like better.”
Stacey Leasca is a journalist, photographer, and media professor. Send tips and follow her on Instagram now.