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17 tips for getting your best Christmas photos yet

11. Embrace the conditions you're fighting

If the conditions outdoors are awful, why not make them work to your advantage? Making them the focus of your images will help you capture something different from what you’re used to – and here, you’re only limited by your imagination.

You could capture icicles dangling from rooftops or droplet-covered spiderwebs, or even condensation on windows, mirrors or other surfaces, which can be used for creatively in portraiture.

You could use a fast shutter speed to capture splashes of water or rain as it hits puddles, or a slow exposure to blur this kind of movement for silky-smooth results. Water droplets can also add another element to close-up shots of flower heads and other subjects you may have in your garden.

12. Use the right kit for the job

Cold, wet weather and photographic kit are hardly a perfect match, but you may be surprised to learn just how many products are designed with inclement weather in mind.

The hardiest and most obvious options are waterproof compact cameras, which will easily withstand wet weather and freezing conditions, but if you fancy something more advanced, and with the benefit of interchangeable lenses, check to see whether your DSLR or mirrorless camera offers any weather-proofing. You can typically find this on the product page of your camera on your camera manufacturer's website.

Weatherproof cameras may not survive being submerged in water but can still easily deal with a light rain shower. Many manufacturers now carry at least one model in the lines with this degree of protection, although you should also make sure to use a weather-resistant lens alongside to ensure you’re fully protected. 

Don’t worry if you don’t own such a camera, though, as you can buy inexpensive rain covers to keep rain away from whatever camera you currently own. If your camera isn’t protected in any way, you may also find a small umbrella that you can toss into your kit bag useful, particularly if you should you find yourself caught in a shower while your camera is set up on a tripod.

There are also batteries and memory cards that are designed for use in freezing conditions, and cases for the latter to keep them dry. Likewise, many camera bags also come with rain covers that can be pulled out and over them.  

13. Use your lens hood

A lens hood isn’t just for keeping extraneous light out of your images; it can also keep rain drops and snowflakes from hitting the front element of your lens and ruining your shots. 

You may also want to carry a lint-free absorbent cloth to deal with any droplets from LCD screens and viewfinders, and you can also buy filters with water-repellant coatings to protect your lens, although some lenses already have these kinds of coatings applied to their front element.

14. Protect your gear – but don’t forget about yourself

It sounds obvious but the warmer and drier you keep yourself, the more willing you’ll be to keep shooting in adverse weather. 

Before you head out the door, checking the weather forecast and pack a scarf and hat if you imagine you’ll be outdoors particularly late or for extended periods of time. Also consider a fleece-lined waterproof jacket and some kind of water-resistant trousers if you'll be out for some time.

To make life easier when shooting, gloves with either missing fingertips or those that can fold back so that you can access your camera’s physical controls are also very useful.