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How to take better snow photos

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We asked travel and adventure photographer Julian Apse, who shot images on our Oregon trip, to share his tips on how to take photos in the snow.

Shoot at sunrise

“Don’t be afraid to shoot pre-dawn, when the snow is freshly fallen and untouched,” says Julian. "The 'golden hours' of sunrise and sunset can create stunning scenes, as the sunrays juxtapose beautifully against the blueish tones of the snow. Plus, you really feel alive when you're up before the sun".

Shoot after a storm

"Wait for a storm to clear and then go out and take pictures," says Julian, adding that the light created by clearing blue skies is usually brilliant. You also get to go out and capture the damage the storm had done and the fresh dumping of snow.

Look for colour

Overcast skies and white, greyish snow can make for a fairly bleak scene, so try to include some colourful props and objects in your frame – such as a red brick building, yellow scarf or green coat. “A single colour in an otherwise colourless landscape can really make your images pop,” he says.

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Image of a woman and a man sitting on a wooden bench in the snow

Look for candid moments & unusual shots

“Everyone always overshoots landscapes, but who’s taking the pictures when you get the truck stuck in the mud?” Julian says the impromptu snaps are the pictures everyone wants, but usually no one has their camera out (which leads to the next point).

Always have your camera ready

“Always, always have your camera on your body,” says Julian. “A camera is no good in a camera backpack. You have to ski with it, run with it – it has to be there. You’ll miss the shot if you have it tucked away.”

Dress warm for comfort & protection

What you wear is just as important as the photography equipment you bring. “It’s often the non-camera gear that’s most important,” says Julian. “You’ll need a good pair of gloves, because your hands will get cold, and a multifunctional down jacket, like the XT Series driFILL down jacket. It’s waterproof, windproof, and warm – just about perfection for adventure.”

Lastly, look after your camera

Sudden changes in temperature – for example, taking your camera from sub-zero outside temperatures to inside by the fire – will fog up your lens and create condensation that might damage your camera. Julian says you can protect your camera by placing it in a bag while you're outside before you bring it inside, which will help the condensation stay out of your lens and camera.

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Image of a woman and a man carrying ski's and walking in front of a snow plough
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