Quick Tip: How to Photograph Falling Snow

Trying to get more of those fluffy snowflakes into your images? Here's a quick tip on how to shoot falling snow.
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

Snowfall adds an excellent visual element to winter images. Photo by Hillary K. Grigonis with the Olympus Stylus 1 and edited in Photoshop.

The best photographs tell a story and sometimes snow is a big part of that story. So why aren't all the dancing snowflakes showing up in your images? There's a little trick to shooting in the snow. Here's a quick tip on how to photograph falling snow.

Getting snowflakes into images is first a matter of depth of field. If you're not familiar with depth of field, it's how much of the image is in focus. For example, landscapes tend to have almost the entire scene in focus, while macro shots have one subject pin sharp with a very blurry background. To get falling snowflakes into images, you need a wide depth of field, with more of the image in focus. For a wide depth of field, set your aperture at a higher number, like f/8 (Confused? Here's how to set your aperture). You can play around with the settings in aperture priority mode to find a level of snow appearing in the image that you like.

Along with having a wide depth of field, the snowfall will show up better with more contrast in the scene. Adjust your perspective so you aren't trying to shoot white snow on a background of white trees.

Notice how the snow isn't visible against the gray sky, but pops against the dark treeline. Photo by Hillary K. Grigonis with the Olympus Stylus 1 and edited in Photoshop.

Falling snow is a great visual element to add to your images, especially portraits and landscapes and even sport shots. Use a wider depth of field (i.e. a larger f-number) and shoot where there's a lot of contrast between the background and the snowflakes.

Hillary Grigonis is the Managing Editor at DCHQ. Follow her on Facebook or Google+.


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