Tips for Winter photography in a warm weather area

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Tips for Winter photography in a warm weather area www.sleeklens.com

I love winter photos. There is something special in landscapes full of snow, people covered in several layers of winter clothes, animals with white fur… Unfortunately, I do not get many chances to take such photos because I live close to Barcelona, in a warm Mediterranean area. For me snow is something extremely unusual. It snows here once in 20 years and when it happens Barcelona just shuts down.

Although our winter doesn’t look so wintery we still have it!! It is just different and not so hard as in other parts of the world. But we still notice a big difference between our summer and our winter: we have rains and cloudy days, temperatures are lower and it can get really windy. However, we still have quite a lot sunny days even in winter.

Winter photography tips are a bit different for areas with Mediterranean or any other warm weather. Unless we travel to some mountain, we won’t need special protection for our gear from low temperature or snow and even rain can be handled quite easily.On the other hand, we don’t have the typical image of the white winter people usually think of. Today I am coming with winter tips adapted to warm weather areas. Let’s check them out!

#1 Focus your photos in weather elements that represent winter in your area

Observe your winter weather, look for weather elements that represent it. It might be the wind, the rain or a gray sky. Try to include weather elements in your photos to give them a more wintery look. Trees moving billowing in the wind, heavy clouds, rain puddles in the streets…

#2 Include nature elements in your frame

Nature has strong seasonal patterns, so you can take advantage of it! Trees without leaves, plants that are typically from winter, birds or other animals that are typical for winter.

#3 Take photos of winter events

There are things that happen only in winter in winter. Well, known holidays such Christmas also got quite universal, so including Christmas decorations might also have a connection with winter ( if you are in the North hemisphere).

But there are a lot of other local events related with “winter”. For example, in some catalonian comarques such as  Garraf and Penedes,  we celebrate the “Xato Days”. The Xato is a typical dish that we eat just in winter. During the Xato Days, experts in xato meet for contests that will determine who is cooking the best Xato. These contests are held in the different municipalities, in a street event.  Here, we heard “Xato” and we think: Winter food! You can find local events around the world that are related to winter. Maybe not a lot of people knows about them outside your region. However, I think that sharing your local events through your photography is a great way to show a different and unique aspect of this season and to spread your local activities and traditions.

#4 Look for universal elements that we all associate with “cold”

In the last tip, I told you to go local. Another totally different strategy is to look for elements that everybody associates with winter. Photos of people with coats, wood hats, scarves billowing in the wind, cups with hot steamy beverages, burning fireplaces, all are associated with winter.

#5 Emphasize the wintery look of your photos in Lightroom

You can emphasize the wintery look of your photos using Lightroom or any other editing program. Color has a big association with the mood of your images. Increasing the blue colors by using the Temperature slider in Lightroom (Develop module) will give it a cooler look.

Cold temperature winter

You can check this article about Color and mood to learn in more detail how to modify the color of your photos.

Decreasing the saturation of your photos or using a matte effect might also help you to get a more wintery look. You can check the Masterclass about saturation to learn how the Saturation slide work. For winter look, the saturation should decrease (moving the saturation slider towards the left) because you want to lessen the colors instead of enhancing them. The matte effect is also a good resource for winter. I explained how to get this effect in Lightroom in my article about “Tips for post-processing forest images in Lightroom”. Scroll down to the “Add a dreamy look” for detailed explanations.

Winter presets are also really helpful. Besides saving a lot of time in post-processing, presets provides you with a lot of new creative approaches.

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Sara Rodriguez Martinez
I am a biologist and a self-taught photographer based in Barcelona (Catalonia). Buddhist philosophy has a strong influence on me: I have a deep appreciation to life and I give a huge value to the little things that makes our days happier. I became a passionate about photography when I got my first camera and I understood that photography allows me to express my way of approaching life. I love learning so I am always willing to trying new things. These days I am shooting mostly nature and portraits.

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