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January 2022
 
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Dear First name / Friend,
 
Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice holiday season. Ours was cozy and quiet, just perfect for this introvert. 🥰
 
In this issue of the Pegasus Journal, I'm sharing 3 ways to overcome winter photography challenges, including how to keep yourself and your clients safe and warm! 
 

Overcoming Winter Photography Challenges

 
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If you live in an area that gets cold and snowy in the Winter, you know that continuing to take photos can be a big challenge. Between frozen fingers and toes, a completely different landscape and light from the rest of the year, and challenges focusing during heavy snowfall, you might decide to stay inside with a warm cup of coffee and soft blanket rather than grab your camera and brave the elements. ☕️
 
But winter photography can be FUN, and there is a lot to love about it, such as a low sun angle all day, making backlight easy and accessible at any time of day. The snow also makes for a great reflector, so even if it’s cloudy, people look great because light bounces back onto their faces. A winter landscape can also be breathtakingly beautiful.
 
Note: If you live where there’s no snow, but the trees still lose their leaves, my friend Kirstie Marie wrote a great blog post about Winter Shoots from someone who lives in a non-snowy state like Texas: https://www.kmplearn.com/winter-shoots/
 
Alright, let me help you overcome some of the significant challenges of winter photography in cold climates…
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1️⃣ The Cold
This will be a 3 part point: clothing, gear, and subject.
 
Clothing: There’s a saying that goes, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing,” and I mostly agree with it. But staying warm when you are outside in the Winter isn’t just about comfort; it’s also about safety. Last Winter, I got mild frostbite during a photo shoot. It took weeks for my fingers to recover, and even now, I feel some lasting sensitivity from that injury. A few weeks ago, I shared a YouTube video about the best gloves I’ve found for keeping my hands warm while doing winter photography, along with some winter wonderland “Behind the Lens” footage.
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Aside from those gloves, I also wear a scarf, Bogs boots with toe warmer packets, lined snow pants, and my farm coat. Under all that, I usually have a sweatshirt and joggers or fleece-lined leggings.
 
Gear: I have had equipment out in subzero temperatures without any issues. My main problem with gear in the cold weather is that my battery life is significantly shorter than in warm weather. To overcome this, I keep extra batteries in a pocket close to my body, so they stay warm.
 
Subject: If you photograph a person in a cold winter environment, be mindful of their comfort. They are not likely to be dressed appropriately (why do we like to photograph women wearing long dresses in the Winter? 😂). Bring extra hand and toe warmers and give them a LOT of breaks to warm up. You don’t want to be responsible for them getting frostbite!
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2️⃣ Image Exposure
The most significant camera challenge in photographing in the snow is getting a proper exposure. Cameras generally meter underexposed because of all the white from the snow. It’s best to meter to the right of the center and check your exposure on the screen. That said, slight underexposure is better than overexposure because shadows generally recover better than highlights.
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3️⃣ The Focusing
If it’s not snowing, focusing should go as you usually expect, but if there’s snow actively falling, your camera may struggle to focus as those little flakes confuse it (as mine does!). I recently discovered that the closer you are to your subject, the easier it is to get your subject in focus. It makes sense because being close means fewer snowflakes between you and your subject.
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3️⃣ The Editing
The challenge with winter photo editing is finding that sweet spot of not too dark or too bright. If you have a human subject in the frame, you want their face to look as you would in a summer photo - no blown highlights, but also not dark and shadowed. My general rule is to go for a lighter exposure where you can still see detail in the snow, but not too much.
 
Bonus tip: Use the white balance dropper on an area of clean snow that still has texture and you will get very close to an accurate white balance for the scene.

STREAMLINE YOUR WORKFLOW IN 2023!

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I don’t know about you, but this time of year always has me wanting to clean out my closets, organize and purge. The digital version of that is streamlining your workflow! My Rapid Workflow course will help you do just that and put you on track to spend less time at your desk and more time doing the things outside of work that you love. For the month of January, take $20 off with the code: 20workflow
 

ARE YOU READY FOR A CHALLENGE?

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Are you ready to grow your photography skills in 2023? Join the Rise Up Photo Challenge!
 
The Rise Up Photo Challenge is entering its 3rd year! If you haven’t been a part of the Challenge, it’s a Facebook group where my friend Jessica or I post a challenge theme every 2 weeks. You have two weeks to take a photo for the theme and post it in the theme album. There, you receive feedback from other challenge members.
 
We are making two significant changes to the challenge for 2023:
  • First, we’re returning to themes based on photography skills vs. abstract concepts. The reason for this change is growth as a photographer comes more by understanding core concepts rather than interpreting ideas. As a result, this year’s challenge will get us back to photography-focused themes. This means we will have repeats from previous challenges, but there are endless subjects and applications, so there’s still much to be gained from participation.
  • Second, all photos posted for a challenge are open for feedback - positive and constructive. This challenge aims to help each other grow in their photography skills, so by posting, you are asking for feedback on how to improve your image. If you want feedback on anything specific, ask in your caption. Otherwise, any aspect of your photo is open to feedback.
The Challenge is free to participate in! If you are not part of the Challenge and would like to participate, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/riseupphotochallenge and request to be added. If you are already a member, jump in at any time and participate!
 

RECOMMENDED

 
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Read
I haven't completed any books since the last newsletter (started a lot of duds!), but thought I would do a recap on some of my favorites from 2022:
 
She Sells: The Empathy Advantage - How to Increase Profits and Give Clients What They Really Want. Hands-down the most practical, mind-blowing book about how to make serious money doing portrait photography while being un-salesy and by serving your clients well. 
 
Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--and How to Think Deeply Again This book made a lasting impact on how I think about attention and focus. I changed a lot of habits in my life after reading it. I highly recommend the audiobook because it is read by the author and he has a lovely accent. 
 
Selling The Intangible : Turn Your Knowledge into Income I haven't shared about this one yet because it's specific to creating and selling online content. But I would guess some of you are interested in doing that, so I recommend this book. I have used many principles from it for my photography education business. 
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Watch
I'm a little late to the party and just watched Top Gun Maverick over the holidays. In my defense, I knew my brain wouldn't handle the twists and turns in the flying scenes at theater screen size, so I waited until I could rent it. It was amazing, of course, and I needed to learn more about how they filmed it without any CGI. This video gives a lot of neat detail and behind-the-scenes looks at the cameras and the overall cinematic approach to the film. 
 

 

I sincerely hope you are enjoying the Pegasus Journal. If you know of another photographer you think might benefit from these emails, would you consider sharing it email with them? Thank you!

 

And, as always, if there's anything I can do to help you grow as a photographer, please reach out by hitting reply to this email. 😊

 

Until next time…
 
Warmly,

Shelley

 

 

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