Photography In Snow

The recent weather has been a wonderful opportunity to get out with my camera and explore snow.

I had heard that a camera on auto will underexpose as a way of compensating for the brightness of the snow, and this means that you lose detail and texture.

The morning was very cloudy and I shoot in manual rather than auto, and was aware that setting the white balance to cloudy would add a touch of warmth to the photo.

The best way to learn is explore and experiment, so I bracketed most of the photos that I took. This has given me the opportunity to learn how I should expose in snow, to get the results that I want.

Two mistakes – I only used cloudy for my white balance and also only used spot metering. This means I’ve only garnered partial information relative to exposing photographs in snow.

I prefer spot metering so that I can expose the subject/object correctly, which is great if you have one. This has worked very well on specific photos, and I’m happy to make adjustments in Lightroom to develop the background. Evaluative (centre weighted or scene) may have been more appropriate for general landscape/seascape, especially when trying to shoot weather fronts over the sea.

On the whole I have preferred the under exposed photos, but that’s because of the drama in the sky. The correctly exposed photos were better for the subject and for the snow.

Were my photos a true reflection on what the conditions were on the day? Not the ones I have selected. Why? The feel and mood are personal expressions of my journey and the walk I took, under exposed, moody skies, drama, emotion – they present a narrative which I will present on my blog either tomorrow or Saturday. It will fit in with my coursework on sequence.

Although I stuck with the cloudy setting I do know how to change the colour temperature of a photo using white balance and camera, and believe that a touch of warmth was correct on the day. To make the clouds any cooler or warmer would have looked unnatural.

Centre weighted or scene average could have improved the land and seascapes, but again I feel competent in how I can develop those photos to enhance the scene around what I exposed for, other than the weather fronts, which turned out poor.

If You’re not shooting in auto then you can alter the exposure to capture the detail that you want, snow, cloud, weather, landscape.

Biggest mistake, not checking the ISO, which meant I could have had much lower iso and had more control over shutter speed and capture more movement. Five hours of photography and didn’t remember to check and alter my ISO. I just assumed the quick shutter speeds were due to the snow. A school boy error that I feel stupid admitting. But hey. This is my learning log and reflects my learning.

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18 Replies to “Photography In Snow”

  1. I did the same thing yesterday when I took a photograph of the bonsai. I used manual but forgot to check the ISO. I was able to correct the underexposing in Photoshop. Good point re getting the settings that suit your mood. Today it’s quite a heavy rather bleak day here – matches the bitter cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always good to experiment , the only way to learn! I went out with my camera once & forgot to put the memory card in ! Have you tried shooting in Raw format as the WB can be adjusted when processing? Having said that I think the photos you’ve taken are great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey. Thanks for commenting and for the invite. At the moment I have too many commitments that I need to keep, so I am going to decline on this occasion. However, if you do something similar in future if like to hear about it. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

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