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Capturing winter landscapes in dreamy pastel hues

Winter is here! Some of you are most likely looking forward to capturing scenes fitting of the classic Winter Wonderland theme. Or, some may be thinking about how to make your winter snaps this year unique or extra special. Here’s where today’s featured photographers, Finland-based Tiina Törmänen and Sweden-based Lena Sanver can help with their colorful depictions of the frosty landscape.

Just because winter covers everything with snow doesn’t mean you can’t play with colors in this season. As we’ll see in the examples below, the magic happens when you shoot during specific times of the day, when the natural light and the skies are most dramatic.

Cotton candy hues of the Golden Hour

In her “Winter in colors” series, Sanver was able to capture some beautiful minimalist landscapes with a soft pastel glow. Apart from the snow, the thin veil of fog also softened the usually bright colors of the sunset. So, if you’re planning to head somewhere to shoot winter landscapes, make sure to include some Golden Hour snaps to add variation to the typical frozen vistas.


If there’s no snow yet in your area but there’s the occasional fog, you might want to still give it a go. Shoot during both sunrise and sunset to increase your chances of nailing those pretty winter pastels!

Mix minimalism with eye-catching pastels

Many photographers prefer the minimalist route when shooting snowy scenes and landscapes. It works really great for scenes where the snow makes a striking contrast against the rest of the visual elements. However, if you’re leaning more toward color, you can also pull it off with some eye-catching pastel hues.

If you’re located in the Arctic region or make it a point to visit the area during wintertime, you should definitely try shooting minimalist landscapes in the blue Arctic light. Also sometimes called the polar night, the light phenomenon happens in December and January, and only occurs in the Arctic and nowhere else.


For her “Tyyni” series, Törmänen was able to capture some beautiful landscapes from Northern Finland and Norway during the Arctic light, with a focus on the shapes and textures of the snow-capped expanse. As with Sanver’s snaps, the ethereal light reflected by the snow led to some minimalist landscape photos made otherworldly by the pastel hues.

Not in the Arctic or no plans to head there this winter? Try extending your sunset or sunrise shoot well into the blue hour, the period of twilight where the sky fills with sunlight in a predominantly blue hue.

Don’t forget to visit Tiina Törmänen’s website and Behance portfolio, and Lena Sanver’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of their beautiful photography.

All photos by Tiina Törmänen and Lena Sanver. Used with Creative Commons permission.