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Winter photography, Forest of Dean

Winter photography tips and tricks by Isabella Norman

I look through the frosty glass of my bedroom window and see the wintery world of the Forest of Dean below. The grey elegant fog is mingling with the deep green pine trees and the other bare brown branches. Later, after a warming cup of tea, I take a step on to the crisp grass which crunches under foot, the sound and action of the grass being crumpled is almost as hypnotic as the popping of bubble wrap. My lungs begin to fill with the chilling and rejuvenating winter air and my fingers begin to tingle as they clutch my camera, my head is whirling with just one question: How can I capture this and do this magical scene true justice?  

Well… I came up with a few ideas, tips and tricks on how to do just that! 

snow days

Play on the bleakness of winter

Winter can be a very bleak and not very colourful time of year, especially if where you live it is snowing or it has snowed. Instead of trying to add colour into your photography, use this plain landscape to your advantage, to create some great minimalist photographs. Here’s a few tips on how to do it;

  • Focus on only one or two objects to accentuate your photograph.
  • Make sure the background is plain without any unwanted distractions.
  • Include objects which are a high contrast to the background, to give the photo a strong focal point and to make it more interesting. 
  • Delete unnecessary elements if they are distracting in processing.


Use the blank canvas of winter

When taking portraits in summer the bright background has the possibility of distracting the viewer from the subject but with winter’s plain backgrounds your subject is bound to stand out and be the main focus of the picture. This can be further accentuated by dressing your subject in rich vibrant colours.

Also, don’t think sunset pictures are only for summer. Winter can create some beautiful sunset pictures, as once again the white and grey expanse will then become dominated by the beautiful golden contrasting colours. This will lead to some really aesthetically appealing pictures. 



Catch the candid expressions of children in this unusual winter wonderland.

The chilly air, the snowy ground, the crunchy grass are all excitingly different things for children, so don’t intervene. Leave them be and allow them to play. Simply stand back and photograph. For this it would probably be best to use a telescopic lens, as you will be able to keep your distance and not invade the children’s’ games but you can still get close up shots of the children’s’ expressions. 

Macro photography 

This season is the ideal time to delve into macro photography, as you could experiment with photographing snowflakes, frosty windows or even freezing bubbles! To create some amazing freezing bubble photos then just follow these steps.  

  • To create the bubble mixture combine golden syrup, washing up liquid and water the night before.
  • Test various surfaces – although surfaces that are hard, like a car windscreen or a bench. 
  • Experiment with light and shade as these two variables are what will affect how much the bubbles freeze and the light we can see through them.
  • Use a macro lens such as a 28mm or 50mm lens with a really low aperture that is either f/3.5 or below.

So get shooting! Armed with these tips you will be able to take some gorgeous winter photos.

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