How to: Capture Winter Activities

Snow. I’ve had enough of it this year. I have actually lost track of how many snow days we have had and how many inches we have accumulated.

I’m over it.

But let’s look on the bright side, all this snow means that I have not only had the opportunity to photograph the beautiful snow but also the kids playing in the snow! With their constant moving and sledding and trying to throw snow balls at me, I have to be quick! Today, on yet another snow day, I am sharing with you my tricks on capturing the boys playing in the snow.

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1. Pre-focus! We’ve all been there. We go to take a picture of our quickly moving target and end up with a crisp background and a blurry kid. Such is life, right? The key to getting your kid in focus is to pre-focus. Anticipate where they are going to be and lock in on that spot. Keep in mind that some point and shoot cameras have a delay between the time you push the shutter and when the picture is actually taken. You may miss your shot if you don’t keep this delay in mind! Remember, act fast!


2.  Use a fast shutter speed. Typically, I keep my aperture in mind when I am photographing just about anything. However, when you are trying to capture something moving, you need to keep your shutter speed as your priority. Make sure you are using a fast shutter speed and a small aperture to keep your subject in focus. By using the proper shutter speed, you can freeze their action resulting in a great photo.

Use these example shutter speeds as a starting point when photographing motion.

  • Stop a bird in flight: 1/1000 – 1/2000 sec
  • Stop action at gymnastic meet: 1/800 1/1500 sec
  • Still life or portraits: 1/125 – 1/250 sec
  • Landscapes: 1/20 – 1/100 sec
  • Waterfall: 1/2 -1/30 sec
  • City lights at night: 8 – 30 sec
  • Low light indoors without flash: 5 – 30 sec

3. Try out Action Mode. If you aren’t comfortable with Manual mode just yet, turn on the Action Mode. This will also let you freeze the action. Your camera will set a fast shutter speed to stop action. Keep in mind that this mode needs a lot light and is best used outdoors in daylight settings.

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4. Video mode freezes action! If your camera has video mode, this is a great time to use it.  Use your camera’s video feature and then sort through the video frames to find the perfect shot! This also works with cell phone video modes as well.

Don't forget!

Remember when heading out into the cold, you need to protect your gear. Also, when coming in from the cold, try to keep your gear in your bag or in a plastic bag until they reach room temperature. This will help avoid any condensation from building up inside which can ruin your camera.

Most importantly, just have fun with it and it will show in your photos!

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Want more photo tips? Make sure you follow my Photography Tips Pinterest Board! Don’t forget to pin How to Capture Winter Activities so you can photograph all of your fun in the snow!

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  1. Terrific tips. I have so much to learn about photography. And that last pic in your post is absolutely incredible!

  2. This winter has been the perfect time to get snow shots : ). Great tip about putting your camera in a bag when you come back inside. My friend’s camera just stopped working yesterday afternoon after she came in from the snow. YIKES!

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