Snap chat. White-out

On the edge of a lake

Winter holidays are around the corner and I thought I’d do a post on taking pictures in the snow. Have you looked back on your snowy photographs and thought that the snow looks sullied and grey?

Without getting too technical about it, your camera meter automatically adjusts for a mid-grey. That works in most instances because there is a range of different colour light that averages out to that mid-grey. However, if you have a bright white scene, it ends up turning your “average white” into the same mid-grey.

The easiest way to deal with this is to over-expose your shots by one or two notches. If you’ve never moved your camera from it’s automatic settings, look for the (+/-) button. You might have to read the manual to discover how it works on your camera. The default setting is 0 and you want to click it to +1 or +2. If the scene is very bright and white, it’ll need to be at +2. Dial down toward +1 depending on the proportion of coloured objects in the frame.

Keep checking your pictures. With a little bit of practice, you’ll become accustomed to the settings that are likely to work.

If it’s very cold and you’re going to be outdoors for awhile, a set of fingerless gloves with mitten covers come in handy. Mind you, the photos here were taken in Northern Finland, and the temperature was between -20°C and -30°C. I wore glove liners, fingerless gloves and big padded glove mitts … and I had to take off the mitts whenever I wanted to take a picture.

Remember to carry a spare battery in your pocket. Batteries run low very quickly in cold weather. When you come indoors from a long spell in the cold, put your camera in its bag in a cool place. Heated rooms cause condensation.

Most of all, enjoy the monochromatic fun. Let me know how you get on.

~ Spotted Cow

Cross country skiing across a frozen lake Frozen rope bridge White scene

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Snap chat. White-out

  1. All great tips about winter shooting. I just learned about overexposing in a class on zone metering that I took, so it was fun to see you chose to write about it. And thanks for the fingerless glove info. I’ll definitely look into those! Beautiful photos. I especially like the one catching the runner across the bridge – many technical aspects to this one shot that you nailed!

    1. Thanks for the lovely words. I’d like to think I took lots of care with the technical considerations. But the truth is, it was so cold and I could only keep my fingers out of the big mitts for about 10 seconds. So I set the camera before leaving for the walks and left it like that the rest of the day.

      Oh, and I ended up leaving those said fingerless gloves at the airport when I finished the holiday !

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s