Winter is one of my favourite times of year to celebrate the seasons, it is the perfect time to get out with your film camera and capture the stark landscapes, heavy frosts, dramatic sunrises, sunsets, and snow scenes at this time of year.
First Light

First light by Texan Mama

I love shooting in black and white during this time, I love the drama it creates when shooting the big skies and the stark trees.  Remember that in winter the daylight hours are of course much shorter so if you shoot in the early afternoon you can also get those wonderful long shadows. When I buy film I tend to go for an ISO of 400 or higher at this time of year and I find Ilford black and white films are brilliant plus they provide a fantastic postal service for a very affordable price. If I am capturing frost on leaves or intricate ice patterns I will use my 50mm F1.8 fixed lens on my canon film camera, I didn’t think it would work but it does and gives me the sharpness I need that I don’t get from the old film lens.

Winter scenes provide wonderful textures and patterns and these look great in black and white, they give that fantastic moody stark imagery.

Taking photographs of snow with a film camera needs some amount of planning. With digital it’s easy to check your exposure to avoid that blue/grey cast you get when you take pictures of snow but on film you don’t of course get to see your pictures until they are developed. You need to over expose your film so it brings out the white of the snow as your in built camera light meter will underexpose and read an average which will make the snow grey to match the average. I don’t have a light meter or a grey card so I allow for this by shooting in manual and change my exposure but if you are used to shooting in aperture priority then just open up your aperture. If you are using black and white film you may need to up your exposure by two, this may add a bit of extra moodiness which will be no bad thing. If this all seems too hard then the easiest thing to do is to ask your developer to increase exposure by one or two stops when they are developing your film.

 wonderful winter shot by fellow muses Kirstin

the last big snow.and Cara

It is all about having fun and experimenting so go out there and enjoy the wonderful visual winter feast, wrap up warmly and don’t forget that snow turns to water so don’t get any on your camera! Also, don’t forget to put your images in the film Friday flickr pool as well. Finally, for those of you who shoot with polaroids, the lovely Debra will be discussing cold weather shooting on December 28th.

All this week we are giving away prizes, we have some expired film from Meghan, a place on an amazing ecourse from Holly, and wonderful gadgets from Lindsey so do check them all out.  Today’s prize is a wonderful book called “the nature of photographs” by Stephen Shore – just leave a comment for the chance to win. We’ll announce all the winners on December 25th.