11 Dec 2007

How to photograph snow

Winter is well and truly upon us here in Scotland, with hard frosts and the threat of snow. When town and countryside is blanketed by snow, the world is transformed and pictures abound. So wrap up warmly and make full use of the opportunity.

The greatest problem presented by snow - apart from getting about and keeping both you and your camera warm - is exposure. Automatic metering systems want to average out all the tones, and this causes under exposure and dull, grey snow. Just as I explained when talking about photographing the coast where there is lots of reflected light.

The answer, once again, is to deliberately over expose. Maybe by anything from +0.5 to +2 times. Either by using the Exposure Compensation control, or literally setting a manual exposure that over exposes by this amount.

If you are photographing snow on a cloudy day, try to include something in your composition that adds contrast to all that white - see the picture above of the man walking past the railings on a snowy day. The black railings have added contrast and given an impression of depth within the image.

Keep you eyes open for contrasting colours that can catch the viewer’s attention. Red always works well against white snow – see the picture of the snow-covered boat. To add depth this time, I have included the snow laden branches of the tree.
Just in case you are thinking you need expensive SLRs to take pictures of snow, forget it. These pictures were taken on a Canon Ixus 700. Exhibition prints as large as 20"x16" have been printed.

1 comment:

Fakhrur said...

great tips! thanks! enjoy the snow