This is a great time of year to capture some cool shots. Here’s how to make the most of your smartphone camera on a bright snowy day.
This season really can look like a winter wonderland, which makes these months so much fun for photographers. If you’re ready and willing to brave the elements to get some great shots, here are some tips to consider.
Snow and ice are highly reflective surfaces and shooting a snowy landscape can sometimes cause your smartphone camera to misinterpret the light conditions, resulting in a blue or yellow sheen on the captured image. The solution: just go into the camera settings and shift the white balance to a more neutral setting. Switching the white balance to a shady or cloudy-sky setting, for example, will help neutralize the bluish tint.
You can also use the camera’s manual settings to adjust ISO (the imaging senor’s sensitivity to light). The lower the ISO, the sharper the image. As with analogue film photography, a higher ISO results in a grainer (or noisier) image, but under a bright winter sky, a low ISO setting of 100 should do the trick. Under overcast skies, set it at 200.
Raising the shutter speed can help you capture fast action, during a snowball fight or hockey game, for instance. The rule of thumb for action shots: use a shutter speed of 1/1000 or higher. Faster shutter speeds and higher ISO, between 400 and1600, also help mitigate shakiness in your hands.
When shooting people outdoors, have your subjects facing in the sun’s direction – the reflective properties of snow and ice will help illuminate the scene, often with dramatic effects. The lower the sun’s orbit against the horizon, the better the contrast.
Don’t forget to dress warmly when going out to shoot on a cold winter day, and try wearing gloves with fingertips customized for use with touchscreens. You won’t regret it.