Winter Photography Tips

With the Holiday season fast approaching, people everywhere prepare to decorate their houses and neighborhoods. The twinkling lights and glowing displays on city streets bring about a certain magical atmosphere reserved only to this time of the year. As the illuminated grandiose decor brings an awe to our eyes, it also presents us with an opportunity to capture striking photographs. To help you take memorable shots, Terry Gruber shares some of his best tips to get that perfect photo.

1. A tripod or a stable surface is a must.

In order to obtain the optimum amount of lighting at night, one needs to let in more light into the camera by setting a slower shutter speed. A slower shutter speed(of 1/60 and up) means the shutter is open for a longer time, thus making it easier for the image to blur and appear shaky. The use of a tripod can stabilize the image and make it sharp. If one doesn’t have a tripod handy, the use of any flat balanced surface such as a table or books would do. For the sharpest picture, one can also use a cable release or alternatively the timer setting on the camera.

2. Use of a wide aperture creates a cool “bokeh” effect.

Lights are the perfect accessory to accompany a creative photography experiment. By changing the f-stops or the focal point, one can create a dazzling photo that is sure to impress. A wider aperture of f.2 or lower, blurs the lights into circular shapes called “bokeh”, creating a perfect background for your subject.

Winter Photography Tips

Photo by Maike Schulz

3. Keep extra batteries.

Cold temperatures make the battery drain faster, so it is imperative to keep an extra set of batteries with you.

4. Keep your camera at one temperature.

Temperatures drastically change when we go from inside a toasty room to outside in the bitter cold. The camera needs time to adjust to the temperature change, otherwise the lens will have a cloud of condensation showing up in the pictures taken. A tip is to keep the camera inside one’s jacket when not using.


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6. Avoid using flash.

Using flash to brighten up your subject only gives a washed out effect, and removes all depth and detail. If you find your subject is too underexposed when taking a picture in front of a Christmas tree or multiples lights, use a smartphone flashlight to light the person’s face. This way, both the background lights as well as the person in front will be correctly exposed.

Winter Photography Tips


If you have any photos you’ve taken using our techniques, feel free to share them with us by sending them to We will share our favorites on our Facebook page!

 For the best photography services NYC has to offer, contact Gruber Photographers online or call us at 212-262-9777.

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