7 Tips for Taking the Perfect Winter Photos in a National Park

by Vibrant Management


Jan 19, 2021

Whether you’re looking to avoid the summer crowds or want to enjoy some snow sports, winter is a great time to visit a national park.

Capturing photos of the landscapes covered in snow makes for the perfect keepsake from your vacation. But getting professional-quality photos of bright, white landscapes in freezing temperatures is harder than you might think.

If you’ve already booked your spot in our Winter in Wyoming tour or are thinking about planning a winter visit to your favorite national park, keep reading for a few photography tips to help you hone your craft.


1. Keep Your Batteries Warm

Any time that you’re headed into the wilderness with a camera in tow, it’s important to remember to charge your batteries and pack extras, just in case. But if you’re used to relying on each camera battery for a certain amount of time spent shooting, expect to get less out of your batteries during the winter months.

Cold temperatures, and especially those below freezing, drain your batteries faster than warmer weather. The chemical reaction that occurs between your camera and its batteries slows down, preventing the batteries from performing at their full capacity. 

Keeping your camera warm while traveling between destinations is one way to preserve your battery power. But because your camera will still be exposed while shooting, packing extra batteries is the best way to keep a dead battery from causing you to miss the perfect shot.


2. Pack the Right Gloves

Dead batteries aren’t the only way that freezing temperatures can keep you from capturing stunning shots of your outdoor adventure. When your fingers get cold, even simply snapping the shutter can be a challenge.

Packing the right gloves will let you keep shooting while still staying warm and comfortable while zipping through the woods on a snowmobile or enjoying some sightseeing. Opt for gloves that are warm, yet flexible. You can also choose a lightweight glove to wear while shooting, and a warmer, waterproof pair that you can wear over the top when you aren’t.


3. Give Your Gear Time to Acclimate to Temperature Changes

Going from your warm hotel or a tour vehicle to the colder outdoors will cause your camera lens to quickly fog up. While exploring the backcountry on an off-road vehicle is a great way to see the sights while staying warm and cozy, keep in mind that you’ll need to give your gear time to acclimate to the temperature changes each time you stop. 

Keeping your gear in a camera bag can help cut down on fogging. Be sure to place your gear in the bag before getting back in the vehicle or heading indoors, and wait to take it out once you’re outdoors again.


4. Adjust Your Exposure

If you’ve ever tried taking photos on a sunny day, you know that the bright sun can wash out your photos, leaving them over-exposed. Bright, white snow can do the same. Add in some sunshine on a nice winter day, and taking clear, balanced photos can become a real challenge.

Learning how to properly adjust your camera’s shutter and how to meter exposure is the best way to take great photos, regardless of the conditions. If you have some time during your trip, take a few moments to try out your camera’s settings and to adjust your exposure, and check the results. 


5. Aim for Morning or Evening Photo Shoots

Even an experienced photographer will struggle to take great photos when bright snow and sunshine come together to make a landscape blinding. If you have your heart set on capturing photos of a specific location, like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful or Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos coated in snow, it’s a good idea to aim to shoot in the morning or evening. At these times, the sun will be less harsh, allowing you to capture more details without over-exposing your shots.


6. Invest in a Waterproof Bag or Rain Cover

To allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventures in between shooting photos, consider investing in a waterproof camera bag or a rain cover ahead of your trip. Otherwise, if snow begins to fall while you’re riding a snowmobile or taking a hike, you won’t have to worry about your gear getting wet and ending up damaged.

7. Get Some Professional Help

If you’re new to photography or want to hone the skills you already have, another great way to improve is to get a little professional help.

On our Mighty 5 Photo Adventure, you’ll join professional photographers on an outdoor adventure in Utah’s stunning national parks. From sunset sessions in Bryce Canyon to the famous formations in Arches, this tour is a great chance to not only learn some expert tips and tricks but also a simple way to see some of the best landscapes and views, all in one luxurious trip.

Planning a Winter Adventure to Your Favorite National Park

Taking photos of a snowy landscape is easier than you might think. And when you take these tips to a national park, you’re guaranteed to come home with some amazing photos of your trip that you’ll treasure.

Wyoming’s stunning national parks are incredible to visit any time of year. But if you’ve never had the chance to see them in the winter, you’re missing out.

With fewer crowds, beautiful, snow-covered landscapes, and plenty of winter sports, the parks are a whole new world this time of year. If you’re ready to take Winter Photos in a National Park, check out our Winter in Wyoming tour and book your spot today!


Related to Winter Photos in a National Park :

The Best National Parks to Visit During the Winter



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