Winter Activities

Photographing Kelowna's Winter Landscape: Tips and Prime Locations

A snow-covered landscape in Okanagan with pine trees, mountains, and a lake.

Kelowna's winter landscape offers a breathtaking canvas for photographers. With its unique blend of urban and natural beauty, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, providing endless opportunities for capturing stunning winter scenes.

Prime Locations for Winter Photography in Kelowna

Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain, the city's largest natural area park, is a winter photography retreat. Its diverse landscapes range from panoramic views of the city to tranquil forest scenes. The park's varying elevations offer photographers a chance to capture the essence of Kelowna's winter in all its glory.

Mission Hill Winery

Mission Hill Winery, open year-round, presents a unique blend of architectural elegance and natural beauty. Winter brings a distinct charm to the winery, with its snow-covered vineyards and grand entryway, offering photographers a mix of natural and structured beauty.

Waterfront Park

The Waterfront Park, with its serene lake views and bustling city backdrop, offers a scenic setting for winter photography. The contrast of choppy winter waves against the calmness of the lakeside creates a captivating scene, ideal for photographers looking to capture Kelowna's dynamic landscapes.

Chichester Wetland Park in Rutland

Chichester Wetland Park, in Rutland, is a winter wonder. The park, transformed by the season, features icicle-decorated trees and frosted ponds, providing photographers with a serene and undisturbed natural setting.

City Marina

Kelowna's City Marina, with its rows of moored boats and frost-laced docks, offers a unique urban winter landscape. Iconic landmarks, including the Ogopogo statue, add character to the photographs, encapsulating the city's spirit.

General Tips for Winter Photography

Preparing Camera Gear

In winter, protecting your camera gear is crucial. Using weather-sealed cameras and lenses can prevent moisture damage. Additionally, using a zoom lens minimizes the need to change lenses in cold, moist conditions, reducing the risk of condensation.

Camera Settings Adjustments

Shooting in RAW format allows for greater post-processing flexibility, especially in winter's tricky lighting conditions. Using aperture priority mode simplifies shooting in the cold, giving you control over depth of field while minimizing adjustments. Manual white balance settings can help avoid the blue or grey tones often seen in snow photography.

Overexposing for Bright White Snow

To avoid grey snow, overexposing your shots slightly can help achieve the bright white look of natural snow. However, be mindful of the slight blue cast due to the reflection of the blue sky, which can add a natural touch to your winter scenes.

Special Considerations for Kelowna's Winter Photography

Diverse Climates in Lower Mainland

Kelowna's Lower Mainland offers a range of climates, from snow-free sea levels to snowy mountain tops. This diversity allows for a variety of winter scenes in a single photoshoot, making it an ideal location for winter photography.

Mountain Photography

Snowy mountain tops provide a majestic backdrop for winter photography. The mountains around Kelowna offer stunning views and unique photographic opportunities, especially when the light Okanagan powder accumulates.

Additional Practical Tips for Photographers

Clothing Choices and Layering

Dressing in layers is essential for winter photography. Warm, waterproof layers, thick socks, and appropriate footwear are crucial for comfort and mobility during long photography sessions.

Using Accessories and Props

Colourful winter accessories can add visual interest to your photos. Props like blankets not only keep you warm but also offer creative possibilities for posing and composition.

Timing and Lighting

Winter days in Kelowna have shorter daylight hours, and the sun's brightness is softer than in warmer months. Starting your photoshoot early in the day can help you make the most of the natural light.


Kelowna's winter landscape is a photographer's delight. From urban settings like the City Marina to natural wonders like Knox Mountain, the city offers an abundance of stunning locations for winter photography. With the right preparation and a keen eye for detail, photographers can capture the magical scenes of Kelowna's winter wonderland