In the winter, if it is a sunny day-leave your camera equipment at home and go for a hike. Sun, snow, and ice, in combination, make for extreme contrast and near impossiblity in controlling highlights. That was especially true in my film days. Unfortunately if you are traveling and at your photo destination on a planned outing, you must take what you get. During these times, as well as most others, a lens hood is mandatory. Don't have one? Use your hand, above or on the side of the lens that the sun is most intense. Best light in the winter will involve a good, but lightly overcast sky. If it is a sunny day with puffy cumulus clouds, you can get set up and shoot during those times when the sun is covered. Even though you are using a digital SLR, point and shoot, etc., imagine that you are shooting sheet film with an 8 x 10 view camera, where each piece of film (exposure) costs seven bucks. A good exercise that will slow you down, make you pay attention to light, composition, framing, and above all, what you are trying to say emotionally. The problem with our new technology is that it is just too simple to make hundreds of medicore (or less) images, faster than you can say the brand name of your camera. Fred Picker, who was a big influence when I was learning the exigencies of a view camera, used to say it was a good year for him if he ended up with six good 4x5 negatives that were up to his standards for printing and showing. Fred passed away in 2002, but his impact lives on in many of us that he inspired through his Zone VI Studios, workshops, newsletters, and videos. My first 4x5 was a Zone VI.