Bleak winter cold photo contests

Photography This Week: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

This is what capitulation looks like. I give up–the cold weather and snow has utterly defeated me. Since it will never go away, let’s look at some ways to plan for and get better pictures in those blinding and exposure-destroying white, frozen, cruel landscapes. The second two articles have similar messages, but the last focuses on people and portraits. Since no one likes being cold (no one normal, anyway), I felt it was worthwhile to include both angles.

In this week’s photography contests, get your penguin on! The contest has actually made me realize that my portfolio is sadly lacking in penguin images. You can possibly even use the same images to enter the #BackClimateAction contest being held by the UK Government (the UK Government is holding a contest to bring awareness to climate change–why are we still arguing about this?), and bring the focus back to the human side with InterAction’s annual contest.

Lastly, the Harvard Business Review has a nice little piece an additional productivity hack that can fit nicely into my previously-profiled Evernote process.

Snow Photography: It’s all about the planning

5 Uncommon Snow Photography Tips That Can Transform Your Winter Scenes

Snow doesn’t only have to be portrayed as friendly, peaceful, and simple. It can often have a dark and menacing feel when captured in the right way, particularly at dusk or night.

Takeaway: A layer of frozen ice on the ground is a unique opportunity to break the rules. Try some things you wouldn’t normall and play with the dramatic change in color and light.

How to Shoot Photographs in the Snow

When the camera is left to calculate the exposure by itself, it tries to read all the tones and colors in the scene and integrate to gray. What integrate to gray means is that, if you add up all the values of all the tones and colors and average them out you will arrive at a mid gray tone.

Takeaway: Photographing snow creates unique exposure requirements. Plan ahead and know how to compensate for your camera’s natural propensity to expose incorrectly.

How to Take Portraits in the Snow

The 3 main problems I found shooting in the snow are flat lighting, exposure issues, (blown out or grey looking snow), white balance issues (blue snow).

Takeaway: If you’re working with humans in the snow, everyone’s going to be cold and miserable. Anticipate how your camera will react and minimize on-location adjustments so everyone can get the shot and get warm.


Featured Photography Contests

#BackClimateAction Image Competition

Deadline: 3/6/2015

Subject Matter: The UK Government is asking for images “that illusrate how you think climate change might impact the things you care most about in your day-to-day life.”

InterAction 13th Annual Photography Contest

Deadline: 3/13/2015

Subject Matter: Photos demonstrating innovative, effective and inspiring efforts in international relief and development.

The Aquarium of Niagara 24th Annual Penguin Days Photography Contest

Deadline: 3/14/2015

Subject Matter: Penguins!

Bonus: Call back!

How to Spend the First Ten Minutes of Your Day

The “Meez,” as professionals call it, translates into “everything in its place.” In practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin. It is the planning phase of every meal—the moment when chefs evaluate the totality of what they are trying to achieve and create an action plan for the meal ahead.

Takeaway: Back in my Evernote post, I talked about how a key ingredient of adding order to the chaos was taking weekly time to review all your entries and prioritize your activities for the coming several days. This suggests taking time at the beginning of each day–it’s almost a meditative approach–to review what you’ve planned for the day and what you’ll need to complete those tasks. I really like this idea and intend to start trying it.

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