Snow shots

Let’s have a slightly colder #TravelTuesday this week here on, I’m Dave Williams and I want to lay down two quick tips for snow photos.

After you’ve read this I’d love you to check out my new class exclusively on KelbyOne, Photographing the Arctic and the Aurora.

Following on from the Aurora tip in the video above, here are some hot snow photo tips:

Firstly, White Balance. Our camera measures the white balance by finding 18% gray in the scene, or determining what 18% gray should look like, and it measures from that point to determine what it thinks white should look like. From there it works out all the other colours and tones. There’s some serious math going on in this process and it’s all happening at lightning speed. Sometimes our camera gets it wrong, and sometimes what’s right in reality just doesn’t look right. It’s for this reason that we should shoot raw – it affords us full creative control over our white balance in post, regardless of the white balance we shot at.

When we shoot a scene blanketed in snow or encased in ice our camera can be fooled when trying to find the 18% gray it’s looking for. This often throws the white balance off, usually resulting in photos that turn out too blue. Shooting in raw and shifting the colour slider in Adobe Lightroom of Camera Raw to the right a little will help us bring things back to a truer representation of what we really saw.

The second tip is for the camera and relates to Exposure. Looking again at a scene covered in snow can fool another piece of sensing in our camera – the Exposure Meter. When we point our camera towards the subject or scene it is reading the amount of light, displaying what it determines to be the correct exposure through our viewfinder or on our screen. The large amount of snow reflecting light in our photo often causes the meter to think the scene is too bright, showing an incorrect reading and causing us to underexpose our photo. To combat this, it’s often a smart move to overexposed by 1/2 a stop to one stop when shooting a scene full of snow.

Short, sweet, and to the point, that’s my input for the week. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out my class. Have a great Tuesday!

Much love


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