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how to shoot snow?

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 27 Dec 2006 (Wednesday) 09:35   
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troyer16
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Hey guys i have never shot snow before and i was looking for some tips on it. I can see it being overexposed very easily. I am new to photography so any help will be appreciated. thanks.

Post #1, Dec 27, 2006 09:35:27


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rammy
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Actually it will severly underexpose cause the camera will try and make the snow grey. I had this problem shooting in La Plagne, France. Most of the time on the first day I had to watch the histograms cause I was metering off the whole scene. I soon learnt on the second day that metering off the sky or spot metering off your focal point and then recomposing your frame or shot makes the snow white. If you do wanna meter off the whole scene when compensate by upping the exposure by a couple of stops and watch the histogram.

Post #2, Dec 27, 2006 09:41:15


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Curtis ­ N
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+2 EC will usually get you in the ballpark, depending on what else is in the scene. Try manual mode, using the camera's meter and adjusting to +2 while aiming at the snow. Chimp and check histogram to make sure you aren't creating blowouts.

Post #3, Dec 27, 2006 10:08:02


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ComfortablyNumb
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If there are subjects make sure they are in vibrant colors. Otherwise the photos turn out pretty dull.

I agree with other posters about metering.
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Post #4, Dec 27, 2006 16:20:33 as a reply to Curtis N's post 6 hours earlier.


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Tapeman
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I over expose about 1 1/2 stops to start then adjust from there.

Post #5, Dec 27, 2006 22:34:44


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troyer16
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Thanks all!

Post #6, Dec 27, 2006 22:41:08


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Curtis ­ N
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Tapeman wrote in post #2453017external link
I over expose about 1 1/2 stops

I'm going to be a nitpicker for a moment. ;)

I understand what you're saying, but your use of terminology, though common, is incorrect and possibly confusing.

If you adjust EC to +1 1/2 or whatever when shooting snow (or a bridal gown or a polar bear), you aren't overexposing, you're compensating for a high luminance target. Hence the term exposure compensation.

And if you don't compensate enough, the shot might still be underexposed.

Post #7, Dec 27, 2006 23:37:48


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strmrdr
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white balance is critical.
snow is rarely white making it very hard to fix in PP and keeping it real looking.
most ppl over whiten snow in PP.

Post #8, Dec 27, 2006 23:44:10


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tag141
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strmrdr wrote in post #2453236external link
snow is rarely white.

Yes, be careful of the yellow snow.! :shock:

Post #9, Dec 27, 2006 23:56:30


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Curtis ­ N
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strmrdr wrote in post #2453236external link
snow is rarely white

What color is it usually?

As for white balance, the camera will usually get very close with AWB if shooting a snowy scene in daylight. If it's sunny, the snow in a shaded area will look blue if you set your WB on a sunlit target. This is true of anything on a sunny day but more noticeable with snow.

Shooting RAW or using a custom white balance is a good idea regardless of what you're shooting, but either method is especially easy with a snowy scene.

Post #10, Dec 28, 2006 01:36:23


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strmrdr
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Curtis N wrote in post #2453497external link
What color is it usually?

gray, white, black, off white and blue + lighting color.
there are little to no pure tones in nature.
adjusting it too white kills the dynamic range making it look unreal.

Post #11, Dec 28, 2006 02:29:14


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Brodog2525
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you might want to consider a polarizer filter. if its sunny out, the snow will reflect the sunlight.

Post #12, Dec 28, 2006 13:36:42


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