Winter storms provide great photo opportunities

A winter storm in southern California gives the foothills of San Bernardino mountains a light dusting of snow.

For many of us here in southern California who are about an hour’s drive to the local mountains, a winter storm usually provides a nice change of scenery whenever we gaze northwards towards the mountains.

Once up the mountain, there is no shortage of places to rent inner tubes for sledding.

If you are up to the task of putting on chains on your tires, you will of course be rewarded with a fun day of playing in the snow.

Those mountain roads can get treacherous for inexperienced drivers who are not accustomed to driving conditions.

My years of going up the mountains every time it snowed has taught me never to be in a hurry.

And if you’re the sort who has to take in the scenery, use the “turnouts” whenever possible and let those in a hurry to pass you.

It’s always a good idea to bring warm clothes for everyone, blankets and some rations especially water just in case you get stranded.

If you’re planning to do any photography, I hope I don’t need to remind you that battery life declines as temperatures drop, so spare batteries are essential.

Keep those camera bodies inside your jacket to preserve battery life.

And what else?

Use the LCD monitor as sparingly as possible.

I have mine turned off instead of turning on automatically after I take a picture to conserve power.

I only check my monitor every so often to see that my exposure looks okay.

If you’re shooting on manual and the lighting condition don’t change, i.e you’re in bright overcast conditions, you don’t need to be “chimping” as much.

Concentrate on capturing moments instead.

During extended periods of shooting outdoors, have a big ziplock or plastic bag you can seal.

That way you can place your camera and lenses inside, seal the bag before you bring it indoors or out from the cold.

Condensation will form on the outside of the bag instead of your equipment. It may be a great idea to carry one of those hand warmers too in one of your pockets.

4 thoughts on “Winter storms provide great photo opportunities”

  1. Hi Wanda,
    I usually grab the biggest ziplock bag I can find around the house and keep it with my bag before I head out the door.

    When I was shooting daily, there were times when I would be out shooting in the cold outdoors then find at the next assignment that I have to indoors right away, that’s when it gets tricky. So this is how to let the gear warm up to room temperature without having to wipe and fog up your viewfinder.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments especially since I know that you worked in the cold for a large portion of your news career. I have to say ever since I left the newspaper, I haven’t gone up our local mountains very much to take pictures in the snow.

    The picture of the palm trees against the mountains happens every so often when the snow levels drop. The tough part is finding and making the time to get out there before the moisture evaporates to form haze and ruin the visibility.

  3. Nice work Peter

    I love the thematic contrast of the first: Palm trees against snowy mountains. It has an odd out of place feeling.

    Great tips and advice as well.

    Thanks for sharing Peter.

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