Shooting in winter can present some unique challenges like strong wind or rain. But with some creative thinking, 'bad' weather can be used advantageously in creating specific imagery or a mood. Setting your camera at a slower shutter speed can help capture a sense movement when photographing landscapes such as farm fields or groves of trees — anything that moves with the wind.
Using a tripod will prove useful, although, in the most extreme whether, you may have to steady it with your grip.
But the wind may also bring unwanted dust, debris or water to your camera body and lens, so it's important to keep your camera protected. Inexpensive multi-use rain sleeves are worthwhile to keep in your bag for those conditions where you need to protect your camera from the weather. They're a great item to have at hand in case of an emergency.
Multi-use rain sleeves can also be used in "man-made" inclement conditions. I recently saw a very well known Australian photographer sharing his secrets of taking photographs at the Indian Holi festival, the "festival of colour". The multi-use rain jackets are required as "Holi is a very carefree festival that’s great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. You'll end up saturated in water, with colour all over your skin and clothes. Some of it doesn't wash out easily, so be sure to wear old clothes."
Likewise, multi-use rain sleeves are also useful for winter sports photography, winter landscapes, in the snowfields and street photography.
Choose a bag
with an all weather (AW) cover
, designed to protect your valuable gear from rain, snow, sand and dirt. This handy feature is just like a built-in rain jacket for your camera bag.
Protecting your lens against the elements is a worth while investment. While all protection and UV filters will protect the front element of your lens from the weather and cleaning, Promaster HGX Prime
filters feature a unique Repellemax II coating which is an anti-static barrier that resists dust, dirt, oil, water and fingerprints. They also come with an unconditional lifetime warranty.
When shooting in extreme sunshine use a lens hood
to reduce flare in images caused by direct sun hitting the lens. Some lenses include hoods when purchased, others are low cost optional accessories. Lens hoods are available for almost all lenses. Lens hoods also add another layer of protection against bumps and knocks to your lens.
If you want to add that "wow" factor to your images in sunny conditions a circular polarising filter
is what you need. By rotating the filter you will see a blue sky change from a light blue to a deep blue depending on the angle you are to the sun, creating images with vibrant colour and contrasting clouds. Circular polarising filters are also very useful for reducing reflections on water or glass and protecting your lens. These filters will reduce the amount of light coming through your lens by 1-2 stops so an increase in ISO setting, wider aperture or slower shutter speed will be used compared to without a circular polarising filter.