How to take beautiful photos in the snow is a very interesting and useful topic. It has been on my list for a while and just had the time to blog about it. Here are my 10 points to capture beautiful images in the bright and white snow.
10 POINTS TO TAKE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS IN THE SNOW
Dress properly: Wear clothes that will keep you warm and dry for a long period of time. Carry gloves and sunglasses on a sunny day to avoid the sun reflection off the snow.
Keep your camera cold: If you move from a warm to a cold location your lens might get fogged, your camera might suffer a condensation build up inside it and other problems. Keep your camera cold and don’t bother warming it by hiding it under your coat. So when you go out, the lens won’t fog and you will be able to start clicking immediately.
Carry minimum gear: A camera, lens and tripod are all what you need. Don’t carry too much gear with you for many reasons and here are 3:
- Your bag will get heavy and you will get tired from carrying it for a long period of time.
- Items will be difficult to locate quickly in a bag full of gear.
- You are risking to drop or damage items when taking them out of the bag. Remember the clothes you are wearing (coat, jacket, gloves) will restrict your movement.
Shoot in Manual: Cameras are not smart, although we think that they are. When you shoot in Manual you have full control over your camera. Also you can overexpose your image when shooting in Manual. If you allow your camera to be in control then your snow photo will look grey and underexposed.
Overexpose your image: Since the snow is really bright and reflective, the camera will get confused and will try to underexpose it. Always overexpose your image if you want your snow to be whiter and brighter. Read the next point it will explain a bit more.
Assuming the setting for the above image was:
Then you can simply rise your ISO 1 stop to 200 to brighten the image. If you think the image is still underexposed then bump the ISO another stop up till you get the result that you desire.
Shoot RAW: When you shoot in RAW your image file will contain more information compared to JPEG format. Note that RAW files are almost 10 times larger in size than JPEG files.
Understand your camera’s 18% grey: The camera will detect the brightest and darkest parts of your image and average them to 18% grey. If you are shooting a bright subject in Auto, the camera will darken highlights towards 18% grey. Same applies on black or dark subjects but in an opposite direction. If you are photographing a dark subject in an Auto, the camera will brighten shadows towards 18% grey.
Don’t believe what you see: How may times your images looked great on the camera’s LCD but weren’t great when viewed on computer? The images we see on our camera’s LCD are digitally enhanced by the camera’s software. So to avoid such a confusion always check your histogram.
Learn how to read your histogram: Histogram is that crazy looking graph that you might have seen on your camera’s LCD once accidentally. This topic can’t be covered in few lines but I will tell you this: The far left side of the graph is the shadows (dark) and the far right side is the highlights (bright). Avoid pushing the curves towards left and instead have them more between the centre and the right side so your snow will look whiter.
Editing: You will still need to edit your beautiful snow images before sharing them with the world. Remember shooting in RAW will be more helpful in post editing than JPEG.
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