I have been watching the weather a lot lately and have noticed that large parts of the country are snow covered. For motorists this can be a pain in the fender but for photographers it can be a magical time to take pictures. If you are going out in winter to photograph and you want a shot that looks very wintery- what I call a winter wonderland shot- there is an important trick to remember.

Bromley Heifer Barn

Photos look like a winter wonderland when there is snow on the trees, or shrubs or wreaths or houses, etc. If the only snow in your photograph is lying on the ground and there is no snow anywhere else your image will look like it was taken in winter but it won’t look quintessentially winter…it won’t look like a winter wonderland and you’ll be a bit disappointed.

Barn and Mt. Mansfield

So what do you do? Either you go out in the middle of the snow storm and shoot away (don’t change lenses and keep your camera under your parka to protect it but otherwise don’t worry about it. Your camera is as tolerant of the conditions as you are.) or you go out immediately after the storm while the snow still remains up on things. If you wait even a hour sometimes the snow will fall to the ground and your winter wonderland shots will have to wait for the next snow storm.

The two images here are used to illustrate this point. Both are obviously winter pictures and I like both of them a lot but only one has the winter wonderland feeling to it. The snow on the trees makes all the difference.  Enjoy!