Shooting Snow?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by StreetShark, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    Well here in canada (expesialy here in northern canada) we get alot of snow. When I try and shoot winter shots the subject is usualy eather underexposed and the snow is fine or the subject is fine and the snow is overexposed. How do I get good snow shots and hae every thing perfect?
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Your safest bet is to use a graduated ND filter.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    18% grey card is your friend.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It starts with an understanding of metering. The camera's meter wants to turn everything into 18% grey. So if you give it a scene filled with white snow, it will want to turn it grey. Also, if you give it a dark scene...it will try to turn it grey toned.

    To get around this, you need to know that the meter is trying to do this...and you should adjust for it. So if it's bright snow and it's trying to make it grey...you need to add exposure to make it white again. For a lot of snow, it might be up to as much as two stops. If you are not sure, bracket your shots.

    That being said...there is a limit to how much detail you can get in a single exposure. So if your subject is standing in the snow and is much darker than the snow....you can't get detail in both. If you expose for the subject, the snow will be blown out...if you expose for the snow, the subject would be too dark.
     
  6. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    And on the 8th day, God created fill flash and saw that it was good . . .
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Amen :hail:
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When in snow I often drop my camera to manual. Otherwise the metre just starts playing havok with the images. Take a few test shots just before you start using the camera and find a setting you are happy with. Turn the snow almost white but not quite bright white and if you are faced with a dark subject you will need to use a fill flash. Quite often though snow reflects so much light that fillflashing is not needed.
     

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