Photographing in the snow.
It’s time to get out around Saint John and have some fun photographing in the snow. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of winter, but, my New Years resolution is to get out and do more winter shoots. When dressed well for the winter conditions snow setting can make for some of the most beautiful and fun family sessions.
Everyday moments during the winter are just as important as the summer ones. Here are a few tips for you to help you take the best photographs of your family this winter.
Have you ever taken a picture in the snow only to get it onto your computer and see it looks gray and dull (underexposed)? Here are some tricks to help you get better exposure next time you go out to go photographing in the snow.
When the camera is left to find the exposure by itself (when set to Auto) it tries to read all the tones and colors in the scene and finds that it’s gray. What gray means is that if you add up all the values of all the tones and colors and average them out you will arrive at a mid gray tone. So if the camera sees a lot of white (snow) it will try to under expose the photo leaving it gray and dull. There is usually too much big white areas that go on forever. You need to look around for something that breaks up the bright snow, trees, rocks, or anything that puts a bit of contrast into the picture.
So now it’s time to play with some of those other settings the cameras have on there. Don’t be scared because they will open up a new world for you. :) I only use manual setting. It gives you full control over more aspects within your camera. Once you get the hang of it there is no turning back.
Exposure Compensation Dial Tip: Almost every camera has an exposure compensation dial which should be used in just these circumstances. All you need to do, when you go playing outside, is turn the dial up to +1 or even +2. If it is a sunny day and your pictures will be ‘over exposed’ by normal standards, but it should be just what you want for this environment.
This is what your Exposure Compensation Dial may look like on your camera to change your exposure.
White Balance: The other thing that can be a bit tricky for our automatic cameras is getting the white balance right in the snow. I suggest that you set the white balance to the setting for ‘flash’ instead of the automatic setting.
RAW format: If your camera has the ability to shoot in RAW format than this is definitely a good time to start using it. You can correct your white balance in Lightroom.
Here is an example of a session I did with my girls. The first darker picture was taken in auto setting and the rest were controlled using manual setting and bumping my exposure up the dial to +1.
Have fun in the snow! If you’re interested in booking a snow shoot with Miranda O’Leary Photography, I’m up for the cold. :)
Until next time,