Skier smiles at the camera.

Shooting Brilliant Winter Sports Photos

Master Photography in the Snow with Camera and Smartphone

You’re skiing down the snowy slopes or in a beautiful winter forest , but all photos you’ve taken during your trip come out grey and blurred? Here we’ll give you some advice on what to pay attention to in winter sports photography and give you tips for cool shots.

Woman with snowshoes makes a funny pose.

Choosing the subject and correct zoom for winter landscape shots

The central figure in winter sport photography is, of course, the person you’re photographing. Apart from simply showing him or her in the centre of the photo, you can, for example, try out different perspectives or play with the composition of the picture. Frame the picture so the subject is at the side or bottom of the picture to emphasise the vastness of the landscape and create an exciting image.

If you want to focus solely on the landscape and snow-covered nature, you should look for a subject of your image, such as a tree, a hut, for example. Align the composition of the picture with your chosen subject. It’s easiest to accomplish this by zooming in on them. This is easily done with a system or SLR camera combined with a telephoto lens.

If using a smartphone or compact camera that doesn’t have a sufficient optical zoom, you should get closer to your motif if possible instead of using the digital zoom. Alternatively, you could also use the wide-angle or the main lens of your smartphone so you’ll be able to photograph both the person and the wonderful winter landscape surrounding them.

Action-packed winter sports: playing with focus and blur

The length of the exposure time doesn’t only affect the brightness of your photos but can also be used to lend a touch of creativity to your photos. Shorter exposure times are usually required due to high speeds associated with most winter sports in order to capture your motif without motion blur. This, however, results in your photos appearing less dynamic.

You can make your sport photos appear much more thrilling by keeping the main motif sharp with its surroundings blurred. The viewer will then be able to envisage the speed the person was traveling when the photo was taken.

The so-called “panning” technique can be employed to produce this effect. Here, the photographer follows the movement of their motif with their zoom lens while pressing the shutter release. The focussed person will then be sharply depicted while their surroundings appear stylishly blurry. Using this technique, however, requires the use of a digital camera equipped with a zoom lens and some practice; use of this technique is quite limited when photographing with a smartphone.

Photo Winter Booklet

Create your own winter Booklet

It only takes a few steps to turn your favourite winter photos into a great Booklet using the ifolor app. Simply download the app, select and then place your photos - and your mini photo book with your best winter moments is ready to order. Watch the video to find out more!

Camera Modes for More Fun with Winter Sport Photography

Using the camera’s autofocus might be convenient, but can often lead to blurry images when photographing moving motifs. 

Instead, use your camera’s sports mode. By default, this camera mode will select all the necessary settings for a shorter exposure time, which will allow you to fully concentrate on your motif. 

Most cameras also come equipped with a camera program called “snow” that will adjust your camera’s settings for the special lighting conditions and white balance of snowy surroundings. You can experiment with this mode to see if you can still use the panning technique to make your photos more dynamic. 

Your smartphone might have additional features for sports photography. Since the release of the iPhone 6 you can take Live Photos, where your phone records a brief video sequence 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture. That way, you’ll be able to capture the motion perfectly and also get a variety of snapshots to choose from.

A child makes a snow angle in white powdery snow

Applying Camera Filters for Photography in the Snow

You can also use one of the many various camera filters available to make your winter sport photos that much more interesting. Colour filters produce especially brilliant effects when used in snowy landscapes. A black and white filter, for instance, will make the snow appear even more radiant and better depict it in the photo. You’ll find out which filter works best for you by trying out different options.

Perfect for keeping warm at home: Magic Photo Mug with your own winter photo.

Coming home is a wonderful feeling after trudging through the snow, sledding or having a snowball fight. Get into the warmth and warm up again with your favourite cosy socks and a hot drink. Why not create your own Magic Mugs for you and your loved ones with beautiful photos of your winter adventures together! Perfect for the cold season: the Magic Mug only reveals its picture when a hot drink is poured in. As your tea, coffee, or cocoa cools down, the image slowly disappears again - almost like magic!


Perfect for cosy winter hours at home: a personalised Photo Blanket or a Photo Pillow in a personalised design. Whether with a full-sized photo, a great collage, or your favourite quote - a self-designed cosy blanket and soft pillow make great gifts for loved ones or yourself to be well prepared for the cold days ahead.

See Photo Blankets

See Photo Pillows

Pay Attention to the Reflectivity of the Snow

The particular whiteness and reflective effect of snow will be falsely interpreted by many cameras. Automatic cameras often perceive the target area to be too light and minimize the exposure. In the resulting shot, the snow loses its shimmering white effect and the winter landscape seems more grey than white.

Experiment with the exposure of your camera and choose one or two exposure levels higher when you begin. However, be careful that your subject isn’t overexposed.

Colourful houses in front of a snow-covered mountain panorama.

Even your camera’s automatic white balance has its limits when in use for winter sport photography. In order to ensure that the snow depicted in your photos is white, and not blue or grey, you can take photos in RAW format, as long as your camera supports this format. Images in this format will take up more storage space than photos taken in JPEG format, but they allow for much more extensive editing. This will enable you to alter the white balance and many other settings later using photo-editing software. Nowadays, many modern smartphones also offer you the option to shoot photos in RAW format.

A Photo Book for your unforgettable winter moments

Capture your best winter holiday photos in a unique Photo Book! A Photo Book is the best place to preserve your best or most funny images so you can re-live every failed ski attempt or snowball fight. With ifolor, you can design an especially unique Photo Book: Discover the numerous templates and designs or create your own layout to set the scene for your photos.

Photo book with the best moments from the winter holidays.

To show off your best winter photos in the best light, there are a variety of Photo Books to choose from. Our bestseller, the Deluxe Photo Book, allows you to choose glossy or high gloss pages. The Premium Photo Book is perfect for panoramic pictures over two pages due to the special binding the pages lie flat and the high-quality photo paper displays your pictures in high resolution and contrast. Discover the ifolor Photo Books and start designing right away!

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