Thursday, February 13, 2014

Forecast: SNOW

by Judy


Oh Winter... Must you?  Again?  Really?  

As you are reading this post, snow has already begun falling here in New York for another big storm. Again. For the umpteenth time this winter.  Sigh......

I could go on and on about this, but I will spare you.  I know that many, in the United States especially this season, could go on and on about this.

But seriously.  No matter how much we are wishing for spring ( oh please, yes, an early spring, please!!), the fact of the matter is that it's still winter.  For those of us in the cold climes here in the U.S., it's going to be here for awhile longer and we can't do anything about that fact. 

I decided that for this post, since I can't beat it, I might as well join it. You know - make lemonade out of those lemons.   

I've had plenty of opportunities to photograph snowy scenes.  Not only this seemingly endless winter, but for most of my life living in New York.  I'd like to share with you a few quick tips I've learned over the years that will help your snowy photos come out the way you wanted them to - the way you saw them. For those of you lucky ducks who are reading this from a wonderfully warm place, well hopefully you will be able to use my following tips the next time you're vacationing in a snowy locale.

1. Exposure.  Since snow is bright white, and our cameras tend to meter off of that bright white snow, photographs of snowy scenes can be underexposed.  Our camera is basically saying, "no! that's way too bright!" This is why some snow photos look grey.  Simply adjusting the exposure dial +1 or +2 can make a big difference.  



2. White Balance.  Sometimes snow that is shaded can appear blue in your photo.  Adjust your white balance to 'shade' to produce a whiter snow.  (however, we photographers love to break the rules. Sometimes that blue tone gives the photo a cooler feel and a softer look. If you like the blue, keep it, like I did!  If not, use this tip.)



3. Turn the flash off. Flash bounces off the bright snow and can overexpose your photo.  I know, it seems that if the snow is so bright, your flash wouldn't pop up.  However, it sometimes does, depending upon the amount of sun and shade in your scene, so be sure to shut it off.

 Also, if you are photographing falling snow, flash will make the snow flakes show as white blobs, or large white circles, instead of delicate snowflakes.  



4. Spot Meter for high contrast scenes.  By using spot metering you will get a very precise reading for the high contrast area of your scene.  

5. Battery life can drop by as much as half when temperatures are cold, so be sure to bring extra batteries that are all fully charged.  You wouldn't want to miss a great shot due to dead batteries.  

By remembering these simple tips you will be ready to shoot the next time snow is in your forecast. Do you like photographing snow?  I know that many of you have had a lot of it this winter.  Why not post some of your beautiful snow scenes on our flickr page?  Even better - post some beautiful snow scenes with pops of red for our "red" theme this month! (use that spot meter!)


















12 comments:

Sarah Huizenga said...

Oh yes plenty of opportunities to photograph in the snow this year.

AFishGirl said...

Ah, thank you for the snow shooting tips. I needed to hear them again and begin to use them. You shoot snow beautifully. And though none of us can believe it, it will be gone one day in the not so distant future. Spring is a'comin.

Carol said...

Ok -just dropping in to eat some crow.... A few days ago, I encouraged Dotti to get out there and enjoy the season. This morning's snow, however is wet and heavy and sleet filled, so I'm beginning to see Dot's point of view!! ( and btw -wishing happy birthday (yesterday) to Dottie) .
Lol - overall, as the as the electric hangs in, pork roll and eggs are feeling pretty darn good this morning! And looking at these pretty snow shots is much appreciated, Judy. You have mastered it for sure! Thanks for the tips- maybe I'll try them this weekend - right now I'm gonna start a new book.....

Dotti said...

These are beautiful snow photos, Judy! Of course, you have had a lot of practice living in upstate NY and now the Hudson River Valley. If we ever got that much snow down here, we'd be paralyzed ... literally ... for days, maybe weeks. I did learn this year to increase exposure compensation when shooting in the snow and it makes a huge difference. Of course, I don't always have an opportunity from year to year. I did not know that trick about the shade white balance. And, Carol Albers ... first thank you for the birthday wishes. Second ... I've been outside shooting TWICE since you laid down the gauntlet. Some of the shots will be posted on my personal blog today.

Katie said...

pss-t! * *i heard birds singing their hearts out yesterday, despite the chilly temps. it gave me hope!**

hang in there, judy, and stay safe!

terriporter said...

Ah, snow, so beautiful and so COLD! You have definitely mastered the art of shooting it. Many years ago I had problems with show shots coming out gray or blue and didn't know the reason. I have to say that I haven't had the opportunity to shoot in the snow recently but I'm sure your tips will be very helpful to those people who are in areas where it snows. This has really been the craziest winter! So much snow and cold so many places and here we've barely seen winter. We're heading into the 80s today! It would be nice if we could mix it all up and have some nice 65 degree days for everybody! Stay warm, everyone and say safe. My paper this morning showed some photos of Atlanta that looked treacherous and I know the NE is expecting more as well. Would love to see some snow shots in the Flickr gallery!

Viv@within the Frame said...

Thanks for those really useful tips, still no snow here just endless rain in my part of the UK...

sherrygaley said...

I really do love looking at snow shots -- thank you Judy for these lovely examples -- and ever since I can remember winter has meant snow -- and lots of it! in my part of Canada. And I have vividly great memories of winter camping and snow picnics and waiting for buses in the snow and...and... but I'm happy to be away from it too, truth be told...and just enjoying the pics this year.

Cathy H. said...

Thanks for the snow tips! Our snow has amounted to only 1 1/2 inches. Well, it was enough for a few good pictures. I'll need to write these down for next year!

kelly said...

you make the snow look magical. i have to admit, i like snow once or maybe twice. don't know how you cope with months of the white stuff. but maybe that's why your photos are so beautiful. sending you lots of warm wishes my friend! xo

GailO said...

Exactly what I needed right now! Or maybe I should have read this yesterday lol!

Kim Stevens said...

These are great snow shots Judy, and great tips for if I'm ever in snow again. I have learned even with the cold weather here that it sure drains the battery fast! Great post!

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

 
© Focusing On Life