06 February 2010 @ 11:38 am
Snow is pretty  

Horses in the snow
Canon City, Colorado

Here's a pretty snow picture from my archive, in support of my friends and family on the east coast who have been buried alive this weekend. After you dig yourselves out and curl up under four blankets to read blogs by candlelight, think of me here in 50-degree, sunny Colorado. Yes, I'm taunting a little. Yes, you can come visit.

Now is a great opportunity for a photo tip. When taking photographs of snow, keep in mind that your camera is designed to expose photographs with an average tone of middle gray. If a scene is dark, it will brighten the photo to middle gray. If a scene is bright (like snow), it will darken the photo to middle gray. So if you are taking snow photographs this weekend, you might notice that your camera is creating dark photographs. That's normal and part of the camera's job.

Your job as the photographer is to tell the camera that the photo is supposed to be mostly white, not middle gray. To do that, you'll need to set the camera to overexpose by a stop or two. You can probably find that in your camera settings as +1 or +2.

Here's an example:
Red Rock Canyon in the snow

It doesn't look like this here today. This afternoon I'll be hiking on that trail without a coat. Muahahahaha.
petiot on February 6th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
The photo of horses is amazing. especially that ghost-like one in the background )
desert_sparrow on February 7th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
Beautiful snow horse.
thumper on February 7th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Very nice!
The tricky part of shooting snow scenes is not only imposing your will on the camera to show all that white as white, and not gray, but to do it in such a way that you retain detail in the white snow, snow covered mountains, etc. and not let them get completely blown out by the necessary overexposure (at least overexposure according to the camera's meter...).
Your shots are a perfect example of adjusting the exposure to achieve both goals.
no_one_4_me on February 8th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
Beautiful photo!
(Anonymous) on February 16th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
Photo Tip
Your tip about taking photos in snow is interesting. I'm not even an amateur photographer, but I have the exact opposite problem with my camera. In the snow it always likes to make it BRIGHTER. So I have to make my exposure to -1.3 or more. is your tip for people with a more professional camera or all cameras in general?
charlottegeary on February 16th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
Re: Photo Tip
Certainly there will be variations among cameras, but yes, generally a camera's automatic meter will darken a scene that it perceives as brighter than middle gray.