January 23, 2013
Tips on taking photographs in the snow. Photographing landscapes in the snow gives us some challenges. Firstly, as the white snow is bright, it fools the cameras exposure reading and produces a darker image. To resolve this, on a compact, chose the snow setting as the scene mode if the camera has it. I had a Sony compact that had one and it worked quite well. My current compact doesn’t though (the otherwise brilliant Linux). On DSLR’s, you can adjust the exposure by one or two stops. On more professional camera’s, change the Exposure Value to between 1 and 2.5.
The Second problem is the colour tint that snow can produce. Snow is such an extreme white that it verges on the blue as far as the camera sensor is concerned. Most cameras have what’s called a white colour balance to cope with this. That means that the camera adjusts to the conditions. If your pictures are looking unnatural as far as the colour is concerned, you can set the white balance manually. Adjust to the Daylight setting in this case.
I like contrasts in my snow pictures. When I first drove through Richmond Park in the morning the deer where in the woods and the contrast between the shades of trunks and branches and the snow was dramatic. The coats of the deer were complimented well in this setting. When I came back in the afternoon, they had found pastures new!
Another tip is if you want to ‘slow’ your images down, i.e. have a slow shutter speed and see blur in flowing water or just to able to open up the aperture. Use neutral density filter. These reduce the light and come in different degrees of strength. Lets hope for more snow!
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