Photographing Winter

Winter – Painting White with Light

Snapshots from the Bomb Cyclone of 2018 and Other Winter Images

Lead the Way. Winter on the Waterfront. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Winter is not my favorite season. Temperatures are low. Days are short. Summer is nowhere in sight. But oftentimes the worst possible weather conditions offer the best chance to capture some interesting shots.

I’ve photographed blizzards throughout the years. This January I’ve learned a new winter-related (I guess) term–“bomb cyclone.” It hit the East Coast with a vengeance, and I did manage to snap a few shots, one of which ended up being published in a local newspaper.

So, how can we capture winter in photography?

Start by thinking of winter and what it means to you: snow, white, cold, ice, blizzards, darkness, depression, loneliness, hopelessness, skating, skiing, and so on. Choose one feeling or thought that winter brings to your mind and start from there.

Find the pieces of the winter story, your winter story, and start putting them together.

Lost & Found in the Bomb Cyclone of 2018. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Solitude. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Now, to more practical points: protect yourself and your gear!

Dress in layers, they say. Also, check out winter gloves made especially for photographers. I’ve had mine for several years now. They keep your fingers and hands warm and make it easier to photograph in the cold. Found them extremely practical!

Protect your gear: use plastic sleeves to protect the camera and lens from snow or rain. Use the lens hood (the right way) to avoid water drops on your lens.

Needless to say, do watch where you step, especially when photographing. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Capture the big picture, as well as details. Tell your winter story (or snowstorm story) as you see it through your lens, and try to tell it by making use of all five senses.


Darkness sprinkled with slivers of hope. Snowflakes captured in the spotlight, in the middle of the night.

Wind. Snowflakes brighten the night. Photo by Alina Oswald.

A view of the blizzard::

Other details, and signs of life after the snowstorm:

Also, here are a few snapshots from this year’s “bomb cyclone.”

Sometimes, winter is not only about snow at all. It’s about humans and nature frozen in time, waiting for life to begin again.

Shadows in the Park. A self-portrait. Photo by Alina Oswald.

So, go out there and capture your winter visual story. Enjoy the experience!

As always, thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald

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