After my trip to Montreal I realized that I wasn't particularly good about working in the snow. I love hiking in the snow, and I've sometimes brought along a little point and shoot on excursions, but the snow adds both some technical and compositional challenges that in the past I had just kinda ignored.
Exposure, white balance, contrast, and visual weight all act totally different when whole scenes are covered in white. Instead of getting technical, I'll share more about how a few hikes in Vermont helped me use the snow constraints to take stronger images.
Depth of Field in the Snow
While there's no 'right' way to shoot a landscape or nature, many photographers and most guides you'll read nudge toward near-infinity focusing. I'll often take this approach with a wide shot where I want the details and textures to pop, but with snow you lose so much of that. I took a different tack on these trips - aim small with a wide aperture.
I found this approach helped me focus more on choosing strong foreground objects and also pushed me to take more extreme angles. More importantly, it helped me see the nature around me in new ways, slowing my eye and pushing me to stay in the moment.
Post Processing Matters
While Fuji JPEGs are great, the snow requires a more nuanced approach. In particular, I knew the dynamic range of my camera is pretty solid but once highlights are blown there's no bringing them back. So in almost every case I underexposed a bit so that I could pull up the parts of the scene that really drew the eye - that conveyed the story I wanted to tell.
There are probably other ways to do it, but for me this was the best way for me to be honest about what I felt. Paradoxically, that 'honesty' required a bit more post-processing work but I don't think that's a bad thing. I've learned to embrace the approach that post-processing is part of the workflow that takes your intent and turns it into art. My favorite photographer and author on this subject is David duChemin and I highly encourage you to take a look at his work.
And of course kids in the snow are extra cute.