Snow

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Philly, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. Philly

    Philly TPF Noob!

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    I'm off on holiday in a few weeks to northern Sweden, within the Arctic circle. Are there any special settings I need to make to my camera to cope wih the light conditions.

    I don't have a polarizing filter (yet) will this provide the necessary adjustment or will I still need to adjust my camera settings.

    Final question, I may be lucky and see the Northern Lights. Any ideas how I should set up the camera?

    My camera is Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi) using the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

    Cheers!

    Phil
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    When you compose a shot with a lot of snow in it...you have to think about what the camera is seeing and metering. A lot of snow will make the camera think that it's really bright...so the auto settings will give less exposure (making the snow look grey). So what you have to do...is to add exposure, to make it look like how you are seeing it.

    The easiest way to do this...would probably be to use EC (exposure compensation)...but don't forget to change it, when your scene changes. Exactly how much exposure compensation to add...that is something you have to figure out. I'd start with one full stop and go from there.
     
  3. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    good luck with the northern lights, I've always wanted to capture some.
    my best guess for that would be long shutter times around f5.6-11.


    The following information may be old and out dated/not related to digital.
    As i have an older Film camera with an older light meter, what i say may not apply to digital. I believe it does though

    light meters work by taking in total light, making an avarage reading of this light then determing the exposure that will result in 18% grey. (aka middle grey)
    This is fine when you are shooting a scene with a varity of tones, and results in a proper exposure.
    however, if you were to take a camera and point it at a pure white card and take a picture, the resulting picture would be middle grey. The same is true if you took a picture of a pure black card.

    If you were to take a middle grey card and over expose it by 2 stops, it would be white, if you were to underexpose it 2 stops it would be black.
    This is why you often hear that film has 4-5 stops of latitude.

    So what this means is that in a situtation where almost everything in the scene is white, your light meter doesn't really know this and will try and make all that snow middle grey. So basically if you have a scene where there is a lot of snow, you are gona have to over expose 1-1.5 stops for black and white and color i believe.

    however, light meters might be better able to cope with this now. i dont konw
     
  4. scrutiny1

    scrutiny1 TPF Noob!

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    If it is snowing make sure to have your hood on!!! Trust me, I've made this mistake.....
     

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