Reader Photo Challenge assignment: Winter

The next Readers Photo Challenge will be the last of the season-themed assignments. So far we’ve done spring, summer and fall. Photographing winter  is your next task.

Most people don’t think about photography during the winter months. It’s usually cold, wet and miserable and they probably opt to stay indoors where it’s nice and warm. But winter can yield some pretty interesting pictures if you’re brave enough to brave the elements.

The most obvious aspect about winter is snow. If you’re lucky enough to live in snow country, then you don’t have to travel far. But if live in the valley like most of us then you’ll have to drive a couple of hours to find some snow. Most people will think of snow-covered landscapes as subjects, but pictures of people dealing with the snow, skiing, snowboarding, or digging out from a storm, are valid subjects as well.

The biggest problem with photographing snow is exposure. Your camera’s metering system will likely read a scene with lots of white snow in it as too bright. If it’s on automatic, it will turn down the exposure, thus underexposing your shot. Try switching to manual and reviewing the image on your camera’s monitor.

If you’re not fortunate enough to live in the mountains or aren’t able to travel there, don’t worry, there is plenty of wintry weather here in the valley, albeit without snow.

While it may not snow very often in the Central Valley, it can get down to around freezing. Its common to find frost covered lawns and rooftops in the morning. Be sure to get out early before the rising sun melts it all. Shots of people bundled up against the cold are good subjects as well.

Rain is a sure sign of winter in the valley so look for things like people with umbrellas, reflective puddles and raindrop covered plants or windows.

Finally, a word of caution: Wherever you decide to find your winter photos its cold and wet out there so be sure to dress warmly and watch your step.

How to enter:

1. Email your entries to Type in “Winter” in the subject line.

2. Photos have to be shot between Jan. 5 and Jan. 19.

3. Entries are limited to no more than 12 photos from each photographer.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (e.g.: “John Doe of Stockton. Location: Stockton. Camera: Canon Rebel T3 w/ 55-300mm lens”).

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos (e.g.: Jimmy Doe, 8, of Stockton plays in a pile of snow at Kirkwood Ski Resort).

6. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

7. The deadline for submission is Thursday, Dec. 19 A photo gallery of all the pictures submitted will be run on Dec. 26 at

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