Shooting portraits in a snowy environment -- tips?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JonA_CT, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    But I'm not the one shooting . . . advise for everyone else (except, maybe @limr)

    One of the things I found with shooting snow, is, if it dominates a scene, you have to overexpose by a stop or so to keep it from being grey.


     
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  2. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    @JonA_CT Something I noticed today while shooting in the snow. The light was changing so fast that I finally shifted over to P mode, locked the ISO, and still I was having to go from a low of -2.5 to a hight of +2.5 EC. The other thing I noticed is that the during the snow fall/overcast period, the colors (as seen by the naked eye and the camera) were very desaturated, requiring significant adjustment in post to bring them back. I'm wondering if the extreme "gray overcast" conditions, might have been the cause of that?
     
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  3. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Absolutely. The camera is trying to make everything 18% gray so your colors and exposure will be way off if you have any auto controls enabled.
     
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  4. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Had the same thought on the image. Now explain why my eyes were seeing the same desaturation in real time.
     
  5. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cold causes that. You can see the same effect if you iron coloured cotton - where the hot iron has been will be more saturated than where the iron has not been. Colour saturation is partly temperature dependent.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    My experience is that at times, ADDING exposure in snow is a good bet. Buuuuuuut....my experince is that new, modern Nikon cameras with 3D, color-aware and also reflectance aware metering tend to produce VERY accurate snow brightness.

    As always though, YMMV...

    I use Nikon's 60/40 center-weighted metering quite often. Depends on how you meter things. I do not like spot metering much. Do not use it myself, because I can see what the C-W suggestions and the resulting exposure settings look like on the rear LCD's histogram.

    Use the histogram, shoot .NEF, and make adjustments as-needed. My tips? Keep your wits about you, don't get flustered, and realize that the new sensors offer pretty good file recover ability.

    My feeling is that wide-angle lenses lead to more bad meter readings than do teles or tele-zooms, due to the wider physical scene area the meter reads with the wider-angle lenses.
     
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  7. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wow, so many great responses. Thanks to all -- it sounds like a lot of the things that I would do anyway would help, but I'll be double checking the histogram and I'll be ready to use EC liberally.

    I've never used the HSS option on my flashes. I'll look/play with that today, as it sounds like it'll be very useful.

    I prefer Mr. Boston's blackberry brandy, but I like your thinking. Just need to be careful not to drink the full pint all at once...that stuff will knock your ass to the snow while consuming and after.

    Wow, great tip! That makes a lot of sense, and I would have never thought of it. I'll see if I have some thin gloves, but realistically, I end up shooting sans gloves because my hands/fingers are so goddamn big. The ISO and EC buttons are unusable when I'm wearing gloves usually.

    This is a concept shoot...if it were a family shoot, I'd definitely encourage a move indoors. My friend wrote a concept album and recorded everything himself. He wanted some photos to go with it. Lots of things going on in the lyrics, but essentially it's about a woman who was never allowed to make decisions for herself, and is regretting it at the end of her life. The goal is sparse and flat and desaturated anyways, so I think the snow will only help.

    The only trick...our ideas mostly involve our model not being clothed appropriately for the weather. She's been awesome and is a good sport though, so hopefully everything will come together. I just won't have a lot of time to get things right.

    The location is the kind of place that I feel could only exist in CT. It's a former sanatorium and mental hospital right on Long Island Sound.

    The Seaside (Waterford, Connecticut) - Wikipedia

    Essentially, it closed in the early 90s and the state tried to sell it to developers, but between the economy tanking and the significant opposition from local residents because it is sandwiched between quiet residential areas, nothing every really happened. In the last couple of years, they decided just to make it a state park, but unfortunately, there is no plan to save the beautiful Cass Gilbert designed buildings at this time. Really, there's no plan to do much of anything there as the state is broke.

    Here are some quick iPhone snapshots (I literally never stopped moving as I was walking around it because it was windy and cold AF) that I took this week to send to the model.

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr


    2EB8F4DD-F9C8-4885-B175-0A1CB7083B16.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  8. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    @JonA_CT that's an awesome location! Expecting some great shots to be shown here in the near future
     
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  9. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    So the shoot was moved tomorrow -- who knew that models could be flaky? (hah...I've run into this a bunch in the arts...lead singers are also super flaky)

    I have a really quick question that some of you might know the answer to...I couldn't figure out how to ask the question to google, haha.

    Because it's going to be cold (maybe 35? Maybe.) and my model isn't going to be wearing much clothing for that kind of weather, I'm really tempted to go TTL for my flash. My question is about EC -- when I adjust EC on my camera, is it the same as adjusting the EC on my flash commander? Say I set EC to +2 on the camera to get the scene metered the way I want...will it try to use the flash to get the exposure there, or will it adjust the ambient reading? (which is what I want...)
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    what does the amount of clothes have to do with TTL? the time potentially saved on adjusting power?
     
  11. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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  12. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yes. I don't want to have to mess around with adjusting those settings in vastly different lighting situations we will be in (full sun vs. full shade and like many things in between).

    Yes, I need to buy a light meter. But upon further reflection...I could just meter/adjust with her coat on. I was being silly and over thinking the obvious answer.
     

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