Winter photography: travel before the storm, photograph the storm


One of the most beautiful drives I’ve done.


Winter is my favorite season for photography. There's just one problem, though: the weather.

Over the years, I've gotten caught in several snowstorms (and even worse, ice storms) all over British Columbia, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, California, South Dakota and of course, in the Midwest.

The trip through Northern California was the scariest one, I lost control of the car twice due to ice. That was the last time I drove through a snowstorm, putting yourself in danger for an image is not worth it. How do we do it, then?

This day, I had to drive 40 miles on frozen dirt roads to get to the closest town.

Travel before the storm.

That's what I did in South Dakota: I drove more than 1,000 miles in between two big storms and once the second one hit, I was ready and on location.

Photograph the storm.

It was mid-April when the blizzard came. Temperatures dropped to single digits (F) and the storm dumped almost a foot of snow. There was no one else around and no way to get to the Badlands after they closed the highway.

Winter wonderland.

I got one of my favorite images ever that day, and I had a winter wonderland waiting for me the next morning. Best of all, I was able to drive in and out of the park safely.

That's my advice for winter photography: avoid the road on severe weather conditions, be on location beforehand. If that's not possible and you still insist on making the drive, please make sure that you and your car are ready for the worst conditions.