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Thread: What to shoot during the winter months?

  1. #1
    epmi314's Avatar
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    What to shoot during the winter months?

    Well the weather is shifting and it is a dreary, rainy day here in the midwestern US. I have finished my first summer as an amateur photographer. Plenty of birds and wildlife under the heat of the Sun but they are quickly disappearing along with the leaves on all the trees.

    I have enjoyed setting up and shooting macro inside but I fear there are only so many shots of water droplets, old 45s and the silverware drawer one can take. lol.

    I like some portrait photography and have plenty of room but lack the lighting equipment. Other macro shots will certainly be an option. I haven't really gotten into landscapes but that has some potential as well.

    This summer I saw so many things I never had before. Not because they weren't there but because I never took the time to look. Placing a camera between you and your subject has a way of changing how you look at everything! I'm hoping a few months of ankle deep snow might provide a similar experience.

    So... any suggestions for the winter months? Anyone else experience this conundrum? For the time being let's rule out moving closer to the equator...

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    This summer I saw so many things I never had before. Not because they weren't there but because I never took the time to look. Placing a camera between you and your subject has a way of changing how you look at everything!
    Wonderful. Just acknowledge that you have experienced one of the most profound and fundamental of all the learning experiences in photography - you have learned to 'see' as a photographer. I still think it's one of the greatest gifts that my interest in photography has imparted.

    During the winter the landscape becomes even more wonderful. All the leaves are gone. The ground is more bare. So you get harsher and more distinct lines, shapes and textures. It's only about continuing that journey of seeing as a photographer. All the images will form before your eyes.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    Well the weather is shifting and it is a dreary, rainy day here in the midwestern US. I have finished my first summer as an amateur photographer. Plenty of birds and wildlife under the heat of the Sun but they are quickly disappearing along with the leaves on all the trees.

    I have enjoyed setting up and shooting macro inside but I fear there are only so many shots of water droplets, old 45s and the silverware drawer one can take. lol.

    I like some portrait photography and have plenty of room but lack the lighting equipment. Other macro shots will certainly be an option. I haven't really gotten into landscapes but that has some potential as well.

    This summer I saw so many things I never had before. Not because they weren't there but because I never took the time to look. Placing a camera between you and your subject has a way of changing how you look at everything! I'm hoping a few months of ankle deep snow might provide a similar experience.

    So... any suggestions for the winter months? Anyone else experience this conundrum? For the time being let's rule out moving closer to the equator...
    Hi Scott,

    Perhaps a table top studio with a light box/tent - but maybe that's already what you have used for the silverware

    Can knock one up DIY fairly easily and add a few cheap lamps for lighting, then get a 12" doll or action figure and practice protrait lighting in miniature?

    Good question though, it will be interesting to see what else is suggested.

    Snow will make some wildlife easier to see, but I guess that works both ways if they are shy.

    Cheers,

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Look for winter carnivals, new years eve parties, turkey trot races, cemeteries, shopping malls, the opportunities are endless.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Scott:

    I spent a very nice morning at a local golf course following a fresh snow. Great chance to practice B&W, open spaces to mold your shots, the first few footprints (human and nonhuman) can be quite interesting.

    the zoo is a very different place in the wintertime too, not the least because of the sparseness of the crowds.

    Happy hunting

    kevin

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    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Scott,

    Perhaps a table top studio with a light box/tent - but maybe that's already what you have used for the silverware

    Can knock one up DIY fairly easily and add a few cheap lamps for lighting, then get a 12" doll or action figure and practice protrait lighting in miniature?

    Good question though, it will be interesting to see what else is suggested.

    Snow will make some wildlife easier to see, but I guess that works both ways if they are shy.

    Cheers,
    Dave,

    I will need to do a little more research on some DIY lighting options. Working on portrait skills in miniture is a suggestion I plan on getting started on immediately. So much to learn when shooting portraits between lighting and various positions plus a whole new set of dos and don'ts. Great suggestion!

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    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Look for winter carnivals, new years eve parties, turkey trot races, cemeteries, shopping malls, the opportunities are endless.
    Cemeteries, now there is a winner for sure. There is an old one just down the street. I can already see a few monochrome entries!

  8. #8
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Scott:

    I spent a very nice morning at a local golf course following a fresh snow. Great chance to practice B&W, open spaces to mold your shots, the first few footprints (human and nonhuman) can be quite interesting.

    the zoo is a very different place in the wintertime too, not the least because of the sparseness of the crowds.

    Happy hunting

    kevin
    Kevin,

    I used to live in Columbus. It is one of my favorite big cities though people who have never visited still think its a little cow town. I so miss all the wonderful restaurants!

    I am also a very serious golfer and played a ton down there. What local golf course did you walk? The mention of it will bring back fond memories.

    You also have one of the best zoos in the world! Thanks Jack Hanna!

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    Soma Jones's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    A pair of Sorrels for your feet and for your hands, a pair of those synthetic mechanics gloves you can buy at a hardware store. Mine became even more funtional after I wore the fingertips off of them making it easier to adjust the camera's controls.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    It is a christmassy fireworky people time: I never get how to do that. Normally dark though and cold, the sun is weaker and lower and rises and sets at reasonable times.

    Sun and frost and dark and people.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Get a few lights - just about any type will work, even desk lamps. Get a mannekin head (they are much more patient than our wives as models) and play with portrait lighting.

    I have also seen images of cities and countrysides covered with some kind of white stuff that we don't get in Southern California except in our mountains. It actually looks quite magically beautiful but remember to over-expose a stop or two to keep the white stuff white - not an 18% gray like your camera would like to record it.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post

    During the winter the landscape becomes even more wonderful. All the leaves are gone. The ground is more bare. So you get harsher and more distinct lines, shapes and textures. It's only about continuing that journey of seeing as a photographer. All the images will form before your eyes.
    I completely agree with this statement. If one can handle the cold - or work with your car close by to try and keep somewhat warm, winter shooting offers more varied shoots than summer seems to.

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    Soma Jones's Avatar
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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    And also consider revisiting the same places you took some of your favorite shots during the summer. I love seeing how the same scene looks in different seasons.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    If the camera is exposed to cold temperatures, ten degrees below freezing or more, you will have to take some care when bringing it inside. The warm humid air in the house will condense on and in the camera potentially causing a lot of damage. I usually warm the camera and all the gear in the garage for several hours before bringing it back into the house. My garage is kept at 3 degrees Celcius (I think that is like 36 or so fahrenheit) with no sources of humidity (like most Canadians my garage is a storage area rather than a place to park cars). The gear is then warm and dry enough to safely bring it in.

    The car is usually no problem because the warm air in there is pretty dry compared to a house. I have had no problems even with shooting at minus 30 or less.

    Below minus 15C I usually carry the camera under my coat; bringing it out only to shoot then back it goes. Cameras do not like really cold temperatures. Below minus 30 things start to snap and break. Plastic and metal become increasing brittle and by minus 40 things are getting very dicey. If your bare hands are hurting then the camera is getting really cold.

    Have fun shooting.

  15. #15

    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Hello Scott:

    I always think of the great French impressionists who painted the same subject over and over and over again—in different seasons, different light, different atmosphere. Each time I look at a series of such paintings I am awe struck as to how a single subject can evoke such different responses and emotions.

    Monet’s paintings of the Rouen Cathedral, of which Monet painted over 30 canvases, are a good example: http://tinyurl.com/3tq98aa

    As are his water lilly series: http://tinyurl.com/3dbgrqv

    and the haystacks: http://tinyurl.com/3pfptff

    These exercises help one to really see.

    Therefore, I would suggest to take photos of everything that interested you during the summer again and then get some new ones of interior subjects. Macros are great to try in rain, sleet, hoary frost and snow. There is always a new angle or approach to a mundane subject.

    PS—dress in layers, with hat and always carry some “photographers” gloves, that leave the fingers free, but have a mitten cap. Be sure that they are made of wool or Thinsulate, because these materials will keep you warm, even when wet. These days they are called “texting” gloves.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Scott, all you have to do is open your eyes, there are plenty of things to shoot in the winter. The light in the winter is awesome as well. Nice low sun angle, for most of the day.

    Perhaps some winter ducks..........What to shoot during the winter months?

    What to shoot during the winter months?

    Or Geese...................

    What to shoot during the winter months?


    Or winter landscapes............

    These two were shot on a golf course. I had to wait for a fresh snow to get the shot i wanted.


    What to shoot during the winter months?


    What to shoot during the winter months?

    Whitetails in the snow.............

    What to shoot during the winter months?

    And talk about the majic hour. The light reflected so perfectly off the snow, for this shot..........

    What to shoot during the winter months?


    Backyard birds make a great winter subject.

    How about the moon, with the crystal clear nights..............

    What to shoot during the winter months?


    Winter has alot to offer a photographer. One of my favorite times to shoot.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Hey, Scott

    Sorry for the delay- have been out of town. I was specifically referring to Worthington Hills, tho I also like to use the the OSU Scarlett course, and they are very tolerant of hikers and cross country skiers. Would like to do the same at the Scioto CC, but I suspect they have snipers to keep the likes of me off their course. It's good to have the Wolverines back in the mix- not good for the Big 10 to have them weak.

    Take care,

    kevin

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    You folks that get season change are lucky from a photo stand point; i have encouraged a friend that lives in TN to take images of barren limb trees after a good snow, especially with the setting sun backlighting it; footprints in the snow leading to an old majestic tree could be enticing; there is a myriad of other "content" if one is observant; here in west central Fla "winter" is essentially the same as other seasons except we might get down to an occasional 50F day & occasionally the deer actually don their reddish brown "winter" coats.

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Scott,

    Why don't you try shooting the morning after an ice storm when the sun is at 30 to 45 degrees? I love the way icicles act as prisms but have never been able to capture the effect myself.

    Until snow and ice appear, animals in the shadows could be interesting subjects.

    Lucille

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    Re: What to shoot during the winter months?

    Beautiful time of the year to get out and about. One of my favourite times of year in Canada.
    Graham
    Georgian Bay in winter (couple of hundred yards OUT over the water).
    What to shoot during the winter months?

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