Winter photography? Nearly all photographers prefer the more colorful seasons of spring, summer, or autumn to winter, depending largely on their location, of course. Here in mid-Atlantic US, I’m blessed with defined seasons that make for a well-rounded year. To my fellow infrared photographers as well as others, it may come as a surprise that I have a great affinity for shooting in winter.
While the summer has longer days and brighter more colorful subjects, as well as the abundant chlorophyll that makes for interesting infrared images, I feel the winter season has great qualities that many photographers ignore. For those of us who enjoy night photography, the long nights give us extended hours in which to work.
Digital photographers also benefit from the colder temperatures for night photography: long exposures at higher ISO settings usually result in more noise recorded, but the cold tends to help reduce the amount of noise the sensor generates, giving us cleaner photos.
Astronomy buffs like shooting astro-photography during the winter months, since the sky is clearer with less heat shimmer. Again, the added benefit of cold-reducing noise helps with those long exposures.
In the summer, the blue sky frequently has the brilliant contrast of puffy, white cumulus clouds. In the winter, the sky is more muted, often grey and moody, streaked with wispy cirrus clouds. These skies can make for dramatic images, particularly in infrared photography. Also, the dark, bare tree limbs stand out more, creating another type of drama for landscapes.
If you are not a fan of the cold and prefer to stay inside, you may choose to do studio shoots with models or still life arrangements, or spend your time editing the photos you shot during the rest of the year. We photographers and our cameras should not have to hibernate, though! Put on some long johns, a warm coat, and hat and go take some winter photos!