Game-changing tips for better winter photography


The seasons are changing, so get your camera phone out...
Game-changing tips for better winter photography

How to take better smartphone photos

The summer of festivals, sun, and sea may now be behind us, but that's no reason to pack away the camera. Winter gives us some of the best photography opportunities of the year - from hazy sun to frosty mornings, winter is the perfect season for casual photographers and pros alike. This is everything you need to know about capturing the colder seasons.

How can I take better autumn photos?

Autumn scene

Red, orange and brown are classic autumnal colours. From rusty trees to fallen leaves, you’ll see more natural contrast out and about than at any other time of the year. And the changing colour of leaves is always a great reason to play with the macro mode on your camera phone.

Any good smartphone will automatically switch to macro when you get in close to fill the frame with the deep, rich hues of the leaves.

If you want to freeze blowing leaves mid-air, shoot at a fast shutter speed. Or if you want them to blow and blur around your subject, reduce the shutter speed. For this level of control, you’ll need a phone with a manual or pro camera mode like the LG G5.

Plan ahead to take advantage of the winter sun. While it’s low on the horizon, you’ll get dramatic scenes with long shadows and a uniquely golden glow. But the sun sets fast so the shooting window is always narrow. Prepare to visit a location in advance, so that you’re there for the short period when the light is right, or the ‘Golden Hour’ as it’s known.

How can I take better night-time photos?

Night photo

Night shooting is always challenging for photographers, but there’s no better time to hone your after-dark skills than around Christmas.

If you've got a Samsung Galaxy S7, for example, you’ll have a smartphone that’s great at compensating for the lack of light. It's large pixels suck in loads of light, meaning you'll get a brighter, more accurate photograph. The best way to find the right exposure level is to keep taking photos with different settings until you find the sweet spot – after all, this is 2016 - so you’re not wasting any film.

For the best results, you’ll want a tripod (handheld shots always give lots of blur). If you don’t have a tripod, look for other support when shooting, like a wall. One trick is to carry a small beanbag around with you and nestle your phone in it for a stable platform.

City streets lit by Christmas lights make a great subject, as do bonfires and New Year’s Eve fireworks. Try and shoot after it’s been raining. Reflections in puddles not only look great but they help boost light levels, too.

Phones with manual or pro camera modes will let you raise ISO sensitivity and open the aperture, both of which will aid low-light shooting. Even if there’s no manual mode, there will almost certainly be some preset scenes, including ‘Night-time’ and maybe even a ‘Firework’ mode. If you can’t find a suitable mode, try turning the flash off and resting your phone on something steady.

How can I take better photos in the snow?

Snow photo

Getting out and about after a winter whiteout is always exciting. But snow shooting is a challenge. Cameras have a habit of underexposing the white stuff, turning it grey.

If you’re shooting a scene that’s mostly snow, look for something that isn’t white (a wall, car, or face) and tap it to focus on it as this will also set the exposure level. If you don’t, it’s likely your phone will underexpose the scene, turning crisp white landscapes mucky grey.

Now that you’re a winter photography expert, get out there and start snapping (check out our favourite camera phones if you want the best photos). If you’ve got any more tips for taking great photos, post them in the comments below along with your best shots.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
The results of the iPhone Photography Awards 2015 are in, and the winning photos are absolutely stun
Instagram gives everyone the chance to get creative with pictures. But how do you get started? Here
Whether you want to record home movies or try something a little more daring, the Sony Xperia Z2 has

26 April, 2017
The Google Play Awards are back again this year. On 16 May 2017, the Android apps...
27 April, 2017
We take a look at new language-learning game, Ruby Rei by Wibbu, which takes you...
26 April, 2017
The Google Play Awards are back again this year. On 16 May 2017, the Android apps...
25 April, 2017
If you find yourself running over your mobile data allowance before the month is...
25 April, 2017
We take a look at Apple's brand new app, Clips. The video-editing tool lets you create...

25 April, 2017
If you find yourself running over your mobile data allowance before the month is...
24 April, 2017
Have you just dropped your phone in the bath, spilt a drink all over it, or got it...
23 March, 2017
If you're looking for a new smartphone, you don't have to break the bank. Here are...
15 March, 2017
Android users can now download even more Netflix shows and movies than before, with...
1 March, 2017
The camera on your smartphone is the capable of great things, and with our top smartphone...
8 February, 2017
Amazon Prime Video is a superb service, but it's not that easy to watch on your smartphone....
6 February, 2017
Getting all your favourite photos off your smartphone and onto your computer has...
3 February, 2017
If you're having problems with your mobile internet connection, here are some tips...
1 February, 2017
That time has come again when you're eligible to upgrade your phone to a shiny new...
1 February, 2017
Do you need an upgrade? Do you need some help choosing which new phone is right for...
17 January, 2017
Vine as we know it is coming to a close today, so it's the last chance to save you...
2 December, 2016
We take a look at the best apps to offer mobile payments, from paying for a handy...