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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #1
troyer16
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Default how to shoot snow?

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.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #2
rammy
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

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.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #3
Curtis N
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

+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.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

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.
18% Gray Card could be useful too.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

I over expose about 1 1/2 stops to start then adjust from there.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #6
troyer16
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

Thanks all!
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #7
Curtis N
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapeman View Post
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.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #8
strmrdr
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

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.
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Old 27th of December 2006 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strmrdr View Post
snow is rarely white.
Yes, be careful of the yellow snow.!
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Old 28th of December 2006 (Thu)   #10
Curtis N
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strmrdr View Post
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.
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Old 28th of December 2006 (Thu)   #11
strmrdr
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis N View Post
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.
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Old 28th of December 2006 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: how to shoot snow?

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