Shooting portraits in a snowy environment -- tips?

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

  1. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    So I have a portrait session scheduled for Sunday, and the plan is to do it all outdoors, even if we do get a few inches of snow tomorrow.

    I was ready to show up with some speed light gear, but I was mostly planning on using human-powered reflector.

    Snow reflects everything. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? What should I be thinking about to make sure I get a good file and good lighting?


     
  2. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Spot meter faces and/or incident readings done by blocking reflected light on the subject's face with a hand under the incident dome. Above all, be ready to add exposure to any meter reading.
     
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  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I like snow cause that tends to mean overcast, so you don't have to compete with the sun, which means you can bring the exposure on the BG down, and the light can fill the subjects well -- even with wide apertures and faster shutter speed.
     
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  4. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a few similar shoots planned for the near future so I've been researching the same problems. I last tried this a few years ago and struggled with it pretty hard. Things I've found so far:

    - Be careful not to blow out the snow. It's very easy to blow it out without realizing it so watch your highlights/histogram.

    - Because the snow is so bright, fill light on your subject is critical. It's nearly impossible to expose for the subject without blowing out the snow unless you're using some sort of fill light.

    I'm interested to see what the more experiences members have to say.
     
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  5. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    yeah I like purposefully underexposing the environment by a good stop, then adding fill.

    these were shot at f/3.5 and 1/800sec: Belle in Snow Wild Virgina Snow Leopard


    These were shot in the middle of a bright day -- but overcast. used the SS to knock down the exposure with the f/stop I wanted to use, then added fill to match the real exposure (1 stop above environment) 7" reflector.


    no idea how well it'll work on humans :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  6. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wear warm clothes. Hard to get a good shot if you're shivering LOL
     
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  7. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Just use a fast shutter speed?
     
  8. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Nevertheless... Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I recommend those hand warmers for your pockets and for your clients. Also, don’t take too long - no one looks good with red runny noses.
     
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  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    A pint of schnapps
     
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  10. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    Hey @SquarePeg, got an even better idea for that one. Get you some athletic wrist bands and put those hand warmers on palm side of the wrist and hold them in place with the wrist bands. That is where the blood flows through and it actually keeps the hands pretty warm. (I use this for shooting football at the end of the season and sometimes for soccer in the spring.)
     
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  11. snowbear

    snowbear fuzzy-wuzzy Supporting Member

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    Move everyone indoors.
     
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  12. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    What??? a snowbear suggesting to go inside out of the snow??? lol
     
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