The winter can offer some great photography if you are willing to hit the road and see the beauty of the world. Have you ever seen river otters sledding? What a great time they have. Of course the big animals are fun but I got a picture about a week ago of a coyote jumping up in the air to surprise a mouse in the heavy snow. Wonderful experience and I did not have to go far or get cold. The important thing is the work. Make sure it is good and that the images are clean when you are done.
The questions concerning LR5 are pretty much over in my mind. It is a great program. I have started using it for downloading my images all the time now. Great organizer and the radial filter is a very nice addition. I like the idea of having a catalog and within the catalog having folders by date. On top of that you get to tag them, make a collection and other options to really put it all together. I highly recommend you check it out at least.
I shoot raw 14 bit Nikon NEF files. I process them and export (save them) as tiff files. Lightroom gives you many options even jpg. The calendar and magazines seem to prefer tiff as they are lossless and easily worked with for them. Some of the places like to get a small thumbnail and if they like it they ask for the HD files in a tiff format. If you are unaware of it those files can get up over 60 MBs so they are huge.
I personally like the state and federal parks for shooting especially in the winter as they are not as crowded. I was at one last weekend and it was very nice. Many of the roads did not have the snow removed so a 4x4 is a good thing to drive. The snow was several inches deep in most of the park. I set in a nice warm park inn having breakfast and shooting pictures of birds out of the many large windows in the porch area next to a fireplace. How can that be bad?
Many states have very nice parks and I visit them as much as I can. The federal parks are wonderful also. The wildlife refuges are wonderful areas to photograph if you take the time to check out the places and understand animal movements. Check some out here http://www.fws.gov/ .
The forest service has some great places to go and many will offer off-road passes for those of us who choose to be active instead of sedimentary. http://www.fs.fed.us/
The national parks service http://www.nps.gov/index.htm is a wonderful site to check out the best we have to offer on a national level. Here are a couple of tips. If you are over 62 get a senior pass for ten dollars for a lifetime. Disabled persons including vets get a free lifetime pass with the proper proof. How can you beat that?
The National Parks service is offering a fee free weekend February 15-17 so get out and take a look.
I have to put in a couple of things to make your shoots better if you are in cold weather. Most cameras and lenses can fog up on you when exposing them to extreme changes in temperature. If you are going out in the cold you should expose the camera and lenses to the weather you are using them in before missing the great shot because they fogged up. You should not have a problem with a quick shot from a rolled down window in a car but out walking might be a problem if you do not take precautions. Also take precautions for yourself and others as well.
Register, register and register you best shots especially if you are going to put them on line. I currently have somewhere between 650 and 900 images registered with many more to do when I get time. Check the rules and make sure you follow them just in case you need the registration. I am going through that now and the registrations are a big stick. But remember if someone does use them you may have recourse through the DMCA and the NET Act besides the Copyright Act.
Get out and shoot even if it is cold. The coyote shot was when the temperature was about zero. I did not get cold because I shot it from the jeep so no excuses. Get out there and shoot. For the fair weather shooters it would be a good change of pace. The others who live in climates that are warm, the winter still provides some good shooting as the migrations and breeding seasons come into play.