Frost Photography Tips

Make the most of the cold weather and shoot some frost-filled shots.

25/01/2013 - 00:00

Cold, frosty mornings aren't something many of us get excited about, however if you do peep from under your bed covers a little sooner than normal, you'll soon realise that there's plenty of photographic opportunities waiting for you. What are we talking about? Well it's frost and with the recent span of cold weather it's something most of us have seen quite a bit of and you can guarantee that there will be a few more frosty mornings to come before Spring arrives.

Frost
© David Clapp

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It's not very often we see a blanket of frost covering the landscape but if you do have the chance to capture a frosted scene, make the most of it as in open spaces, frost soon vanishes.

With this in mind, it's often best to concentrate on small details and this is when compacts such as the Pentax Optio WG-2 or a Pentax DSLR will be useful. We mention the Optio WG-2 as it features six LED macro lights which are placed around the circumference of the lens. By switching to the Digital Microscope mode you can take well lit macro images, with a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm. If you're a DSLR user, a macro lens is ideal, however you can also use a zoom lens such as the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR which although it isn't a macro lens, it has a maximum magnification that approaches a useful 1:4.

It's worth varying your lens aperture when working close-up as it'll achieve different effects as you move through the various focal planes. A small aperture will give you a greater depth-of-field, to ensure more of your picture remains sharp, but when working close, try a wider aperture to isolate your subject against an out-of-focus background.

Sun And Shade

A touch of sunlight will help emphasise the sparkle of frost however, frost will hang around longer in shaded areas where you can use a reflector to bounce daylight into your shot.

Metering

As with snow, cameras can be fooled by frost and your shots can end up looking under exposed. A simple way to fix this is with exposure compensation. You just need to shoot half to one and a half stops over what your camera thinks is right.

Subjects

Look out for frosty leaves and blades of grass, plus don't over-look the popular frosted spiders web as they're popular for a reason! Berries and branches look great when dusted with frost and around water you'll find frosted reeds as well as ice and frosted covered banks. Do be careful near ponds and rivers, though, as surfaces can be slippery at this time of year.

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