Photography Cheat Sheet: Shooting Snowy Scenes

Shooting somewhere snowy soon? Make sure to bring with you today’s quick photography cheat sheet!

Snowy landscapes are among the most beautiful places to photograph, as we’ve seen in a lot of our previous landscape photography features. However, they also come with major challenges, from getting there, keeping those precious gear safe, and shooting. Whether you’re planning your first ever snowy scene shoot or want to do it better for next time, we’re sure this quick photography cheat sheet will be of great help to you.

The photography cheat sheet below by Digital Camera World brings not only the camera settings you can use for your first shot, but also a bunch of tips to make sure you get the best results.

Set your camera’s exposure mode to Manual, the aperture to f11, and the ISO to 100. Ideally, use a lens with a focal length of 16-35mm. See which shutter speed will give you the look you want, taking note that metering a snowy scene can be tricky. For this, it’s best to bracket the scene, capturing exposures for the foreground, middle ground, and background. Don’t forget to check your histogram as well to make sure that all the highlights, shadows, and midtones are correctly exposed.

It’s also recommended to shoot during dawn or dusk to capture the snow in the so-called Golden Hour, so your scenes wouldn’t look too dull and will have a dash of color. Take note to adjust the white balance accordingly since snow tends to produce a cool tone. Since you’ll shoot with a small aperture, it’s also best to bring a tripod with you to keep your snaps sharp.

There are definitely more things to consider and prepare for when you’re shooting somewhere snowy. So, we also recommend checking out these photography cheat sheet for shooting in cold weather, and some essential tips for protecting your gear while you’re out in the snow.

For more useful photography tips and tricks like these, make sure to check out our growing photography cheat sheet collection!

Cover photo by Claire Droppert. Used with Creative Commons permission.