5 Tips for Making the Most of Winter Light

The following post is from Krystal of Krystal Griffin Photography:

5 Tips for Making the Most of Winter Light
source: Krystal Griffin Photography

It’s no shock to anyone that the sun shines less in the winter.  Watching our social media feeds, we all see the world rejoice on a sunny, winter day.  While stuck in our homes during these gray days, it can be a challenge to take well lit photos.  Here are five tips to help you make the most out of that gray winter light.

By the way, there was little or no editing done on these photos.  I wanted to show you that you can produce quality snapshots without spending all day in Photoshop.

Watch your windows.

This is an observation project, and a day that you will be home for most of your dawn to dusk hours will be best to work on this.  From the time you get up until the sun is gone, watch the windows in your house.  You are looking for where the light pours in at that time of day.  Don’t just watch for which rooms are sunny but also the angle of the light.  What corner of the room does it hit?  Observing the light in your home will help you find optimal places to photograph throughout the day.

Source: Krystal Griffin

Let the light in.

I have no doubt that you will think to open the window coverings when you are taking a photo near a particular window.  However, don’t forget that every last bit of light counts at such a gray time of year.  If you have blinds don’t just turn them open, pull them all the way up.  The same goes for curtains and sheers.  Pull them as far back as you can.  If there are other windows in the same room, you should open all their coverings as well.  Each extra bit of light will help.

Use snow and other reflectors.

Most of you have seen that beautiful glow on someone’s face when they are standing in the snow.  Snow is a natural reflector, and you should take full advantage of it.  Even if you don’t take photos outside in the snow, (that’s a post for another day) you will find that the reflection from the snow adds extra light to your home.  There are other options to reflect the light: white bedding or furniture, a shiny floor, even a white laundry basket held in front of a face will add light.

Source: Krystal Griffin

Snuggle up to the light.

There is nothing complex about this tip.  You must move closer to the light source.  Is it time to open birthday gifts?  Put them in the chair right next to the window.  Do the Grandparents want a photo with the kids?  Choose the spot nearest the bright window.

Try black and white.

When the light stinks, your flash went off, or the photo is lit solely with orange hued lamps, there is always black and white.  Converting your image to black and white may go a long way in saving photos that are poor to the point of distraction.  It doesn’t always work but often can switch the focus from the horrible light to the subject in the photo.  It should also give you the freedom to brighten the photo a bit more than you could if in color.  It might get a little grainy from enhancing the exposure but that won’t be noticed as much in black and white.

Source: Krystal Griffin

What is your biggest photo challenge during the winter?

Krystal is a stay-at-home mom of four children, ages 4-9, whom she homeschools. She is acutely aware of how fast her children are changing and is passionate about keeping family memories alive through photographs. Now and then she gets to help other families’ bottle up their own memories at Krystal Griffin Photography.
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