Since it just keeps snowing, I thought I'd put a few winter photography tips together for anyone who is interested. Just recently someone told me that their snow scene photos failed as they came out all dark. So, here are a few tips!
1) Set your camera's exposure compensation to about +1. If you don't know what this means, dig out your camera manual and look up "exposure compensation". :) The reason for this is that your camera will automatically try and expose the image to average mid grey. Winter scenes with a lot of snow are much brighter than mid grey, so you have to "fool" your camera to let in more light than it would otherwise.
If you are using a fully automatic camera without any manual settings, you are in for a challenge. One trick you could try: if your camera has an exposure/focus lock half way pressing the shutter button, fill the frame with something dark, press shutter button half way to set the exposure, and only after that move your camera to take a photo of the snowy scene. "Something dark" could possibly be people in dark clothing, or trees, building, whatever you find.
2) Keep your camera cold. This means: don't be tempted to put your camera under your coat, or in a warm pocket in between shooting. If you do, you will risk getting condensation inside the camera, as well as on the surface of the lense, and internal condensation can render your camera unusable.
3) Keep your batteries warm. Battery life is shorter in the cold. Take a spare battery with you and keep it in a warm pocket next to your body.
4) Don't try to clear fluff off your lense by blowing on it... or you will end up with a thin sheet of ice on your lense.
I shall add more tips when I come back from shooting snowy scenes!! :)