Snow photography Pt. 1
When we look out the window and see all that beautiful glistening snow we instinctively know it's time for some cool photos to wow our friends and family with. Do you often come back with snow photos which look more like the top image than the bottom?
Snow photography can be very disappointing when this happens - but it's not you it's your camera which thinks the world is grey and sets the wrong exposure to make it equate to grey. This makes the whole image dark.
The good new is it's very easy to correct. All you need to do is set an exposure that will brighten up the photo by about 1 to 1.5 stops. Yes I know it sounds mad to over expose for snow but think about it for a moment. The camera is making the snow look dark and there's only one way to make it brighter and that's to increase the exposure.
If you're making a manual exposure all you need do is make the shutter speed longer or open the aperture wider to let in more light. If you're photographing snow using aperture priority (AV) or shutter priority (TV) the quickest way is to set the exposure compensation to about +1 or more depending on how much snow you've included in the composition.
Being in snow is a sensory experience and when you photograph it you're removing all but the visual - and that's what we're going to look at in snow photography part 2.
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The 7 Building Blocks of Photography has massively improved my photography overall. It has made me think about how I want an image to look, rather than just going out looking for an image, then get home and be disappointed. My approach now is to visualise, construct it block by block then make it happen. My 'hit rate' has soared.
- Neil Hanson -