Photographing in the Snow: I’ve been living in Eastern France for the last 15 years, which i love. Although surrounded by forests and lakes, it is high enough at 350 meters above sea level to catch the snow that falls most years– with temperatures falling between -5°C and -20°C, and during milder winters leaves me a 1Hr drive to drive up onto the higher altitudes of around 1250 Metres above sea level that i have been exploring over the last couple of years where the snow is more plentiful and deeper and coupled with the mountain mist makes for the ideal conditions that i search for my minimalist snowscapes.
This is a period of the year which I love, and winter is my favorite season.
Photographing in the snow is a beautiful moment with nothing but the silence to surround me while i search the landscape for a fence-line, telegraph pole, tree’s , benches etc. I’m searching for a single or very small group of subjects.
Here in France on the majority of the higher mountains a ski stations there are webcams that you can access which allows me to look at the current conditions before getting in the car and deciding to go out.
The actual process of photographing in the snow was a little difficult at first as the majority of my photography is Long Exposures, so setting up a tripod, loading the filters etc was always part of my photographic rhythm, and while i occasionally shoot long exposure snowscapes the majority are now shot with much faster shutter speeds above 1/60sec.
I shoot 99% of the time with a tripod even at faster shutter speeds and even though i shoot digitally i always shoot using a separate exposure meter and is a personal choice. (Sekonic 758DR). I have recently acquired a Pentax 6×7 film camera and a couple of wide angle lenses so will be shooting the majority of my work on film this year.
I always shoot in RAW no matter what the subject or conditions giving me a lot more control to fine tune in post.
After that it’s just a question of walking and searching my subjects, occasionally I will drive along roads in summertime and if i see something interesting for a snowscape I will make a note or take a phone photo and GPS reading with the intention of returning when the snows begin to fall.
Michael Diblicek, December 2014 (website)