Photo Ops of the Month

Where to go and what to shoot in January.

Photo-Ops-of-the-Month
Photo-Ops-of-the-Month

Winter Landscapes

When: Throughout January.
Where: Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, UT.
What: A popular photo destination during the summer, Bryce Canyon is also fantastic in the wintertime, with dramatic contrasts between the red canyon rock and snow-draped mountains. Tip: The bitter cold can drain batteries quickly, so cover your camera when not in use or keep a spare set of batteries near a source of heat (like your body). Bring a sealed plastic bag to protect your gear from condensation when returning to the warmth. For info: www.nps.gov/brca; 435-834-5322.

Polar Bear Swim

When: New Year's Day.
Where: English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
What: Since 1920, thousands of brave (or foolhardy) souls have been diving into the near-freezing Canadian waters to kick off the New Year. Think of it as photographing on the beach, except hundreds of people are charging into and out of the water every few minutes. Tip: With so many people and a relatively flat surface, experiment with holding the camera high and shooting wide for in-the-moment action shots. For info: www.vancouverparks.ca; 604-257-8400.

Ullr Fest

When: January 5-12.
Where: Breckenridge, CO.
What: Colorado locals celebrate the Norse god of skiing with events like the nighttime Ullympics and an annual parade where almost everyone is in Nordic attire (i.e., fur and horns). Tip: While not technically allowed, photographers have been known to cross the barriers and get into the fray of the parade for the best photos. The less intrepid can head to the second floor of the Horseshoe II hotel for great overviews. For info: www.gobreck.com; 877-864-5260.

Birds in Mating Plumage

When: Throughout January.
Where: Venice Area Audubon Rookery, Venice, FL.
What: Birding photographers know that the Venice Rookery offers some of the closest, most unobstructed views of wintering birds such as the great blue heron and great egret. Tip: During sunset, the sun will be hovering right in front of you -- great if you want a silhouette, horrible if you don't. Plan out your shooting schedule beforehand. For info: www.veniceaudubon.org; 941-496-8984.

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