Grey skies. Shorter days. Bare trees. Not to mention the stifling coldness that makes it almost impossible to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. While winter may not seem like the best time for whipping out the camera and taking photos, you might be surprised at the range of picturesque and unique backdrops the winter season can offer. With the following tips, you can make winter photography a breeze!

Get protected – Especially with A DSLR, camera lenses are prone to fogging due to the cold. It sounds strange, but to avoid fogging of the lenses, try placing your camera in an air-tight, zip lock bag when not in use and clean the lenses carefully with a microfiber cloth. Fogged up lenses, under extreme circumstances, can lead to mould growth and in some cases, render the lenses completely unusable. Definitely not something you want happening to the lens you just forked out a few hundred dollars for!

Batteries get cold, too – If you’ve ever taken your camera into the extreme cold, you may have noticed that the batteries seem to drain faster. To avoid the batteries going cold or freezing up, try rubbing them in between your hands. Also, you can keep extra batteries in your pocket (as the body heat keeps the batteries warm), just in case.

Memory card – You may also want to consider investing in a heavy duty memory card specifically designed to operate under extreme weather conditions. One such example of a temperature-proof card is the SanDisc Extreme. That way you won’t have to worry about losing all the great photos you just took if your memory card malfunctions due to the temperature.

Rug up – Lastly, don’t forget to layer up yourself. Not only does this keep you protected from the elements, but it will also lead to better photos! Once warm and comfortable, you will find that you will spend more time setting up shots and avoiding rookie mistakes (which tends to occur when you haphazardly take photos so you can rush back to the warmth of your car). If you must wear gloves or mittens keep your fingers warm, make sure you invest in a pair of tight-fitting, non-slip gloves to avoid dropping your camera because your gloves are too slippery. Alternatively, grab a pair of those mittens that have a section which flips down to expose your fingers. That way, you’ve got full use of your hands to adjust your settings, zoom and focus.

Curtis Jones is a design and photography student who loves travelling, eating and scuba diving with the one hand, and taking photos with his DSLR in the other