We are now at that time of year when the days are much shorter and temperatures start to dip below zero as we move between Autumn and into Winter. This is no reason to let your camera hibernate over the winter. In fact, it is more of a reason to go outside and record the stunning landscape this country has to offer.
The ‘Golden hour’ as it is called (the first and last hour of sunlight in a day) is more accessible this time of year. The time when the sun is lower in the sky and of breathtaking quality. Sunrise today was at 7:47 and sunset is 15:57. If the weather is good, you do not need to venture out at the unsociable times of the day compared to the summer months.
I personally prefer the light during the Autumn/Winter period compared to Spring/Summer. There is a certain quality to the light not experienced at other times of the year. Early morning mists can bring such atmosphere to your photographs.
Fields covered in an early morning hoar frost brings a totally new dynamic to the landscape.
It is difficult to plan when to venture outside owing to the unpredictability of the weather so it is best to have your camera and kit ready and keep an eye on the weather forecast.
When venturing outdoors this time of year not only do you need to look after your kit but you need to look after yourself.
Tips for you
- Wear warm, dry clothing. It is better to wear a number of layers rather than a single thick jumper. While you are walking around you may not feel that cold but if you start to stand still for any period of time you will get cold
- Wear sturdy footwear.
- Carry waterproofs just in case the weather turns.
- Take food and drink (preferably hot).
- Wear gloves (some gloves will still allow you to access the controls on your camera).
- Wear a hat – most of our body’s heat is lost through the head.
- Never venture out on to a frozen pond or any frozen water. It may look solid, but you can never tell – even if you see others standing on it.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to come back.
Tips for your camera
- Keep your camera in a suitable bag while not in use.
- Keep spare batteries close to your body. A cold battery will not hold its charge as long as a warmer one.
- Try to avoid changing lenses too frequently.
- Avoid moving between hot and cold temperature zones as your lens will mist up. You need to allow time for acclimatisation.
- When you return indoors allow your camera to return to room temperature before storing away in its bag.
Follow these simple tips and create some stunning photographs, but most of all marvel at how the winter can change the look and feel of the landscape and enjoy yourself.
When you are back indoors warming up you will realise how a hot drink never tasted so good.