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Shooting In Snow

 
 
Jeremy
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      11-19-2006
Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
daytime?

For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram. However,
I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these types of
scenes before.


 
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Charles Schuler
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      11-19-2006

"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
> daytime?
>
> For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
> positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
> bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram.
> However, I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these
> types of scenes before.


With snow, the camera auto-exposure algorithm will meter for neutral gray
and thus under-expose. You can compensate by boosting the exposure.


 
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Joseph Meehan
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      11-20-2006
Jeremy wrote:
> Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during
> the daytime?
>
> For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
> positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using
> exposure bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the
> histogram. However, I am interesting in any tips from people that
> have shot these types of scenes before.


Snow is tough, and experience helps a lot. It appears you know enough
to get it right. I would suggest shooting RAW in this situation to allow
for some additional adjustment post exposure. Do it enough and you will get
the "feel" for where you need be and you may decide RAW is not necessary.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia 's Muire duit



 
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Bill Hilton
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      11-20-2006
>Jeremy wrote:
>
> Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
> daytime?
>
> For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
> positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
> bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram. However,
> I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these types of
> scenes before.


If there's a lot of white in the scene you'll typically need to
overexpose by + 1 to + 2 stops. The exact amount will depend on which
metering mode you use, how much snow is in the frame (ie, how much is
white vs mid-tone) and how bright the light so you'll want to shoot a
couple (or bracket) at first and adjust after looking at the histogram.

If you shot just the snow at the normal meter reading it would come out
gray (mid-tone). So the more snow in the frame the more you have to
adjust the meter reading.

 
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JohnR66
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      11-20-2006
"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
> daytime?
>
> For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
> positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
> bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram.
> However, I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these
> types of scenes before.
>

Use mirror lock-up or you may cause an avalanche : )
John


 
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m Ransley
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      11-20-2006
A polariser filter will cut down snow glare-reflections and give a bluer
sky , if your shutter isnt real fast it will also help 1 stop to reduce
light.

 
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Rick Sciacca
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      11-20-2006
On 11/19/06 10:47 PM, "JohnR66" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Use mirror lock-up or you may cause an avalanche : )
> John
>
>

Once again, it depends on how much snow.
-- Rick
http://fixupix.tripod.com/
http://www.backprint.com/cnypix


 
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MarkČ
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      11-20-2006
m Ransley wrote:
> A polariser filter will cut down snow glare-reflections and give a
> bluer sky , if your shutter isnt real fast it will also help 1 stop
> to reduce light.


Actually, you need to INCREASE exposure(!) beyond what your meter will think
is correct.
You DON'T want to reduce light...rather, the exact opposite.

--
Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by MarkČ at:
www.pbase.com/markuson


 
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Floyd L. Davidson
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      11-20-2006
"Jeremy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
>daytime?
>
>For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
>positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
>bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram. However,
>I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these types of
>scenes before.


Ignore the light meter, and use either a histogram or (best) a
"blinking overexposure" LCD display.

It doesn't make a lot of difference what the average light from
a scene with snow in it is, set exposure to get the highlights
just below clipping level. A light meter reading combined with
a guess for exposure compensation is unlikely to be close, but
use of a blinking overexposure display easily puts it within
less than 1/3 of an fstop.

However, people's faces may well show up basically in the shade
(with not enough reflected light from the snow illuminating
them, which will be far worse if the snow is all in back of
them), which is not the best lighting if it is the people you
want to stand out! One option is to reposition the people,
which of course might not be at all possible. Another is to
simply overexpose the snow, and let it blow out and lose detail,
which may be acceptable in a few situations. But the best
solution by far is to use a flash for fill light.

The problems with using flash are typical. They recharge
slowly, so you won't likely be able to fire off rapid sequences,
and the flash will leave a reflection in the eyes and maybe
other reflective surfaces (sunglasses are the most common
offenders, but windows and painted surfaces are bad too).

Fill light with flash works best for scenes where the snow is
some distance from the subject where the light from the flash
will not also increase the brightness of the snow. If the snow
is relatively close, changing focal lengths to adjust the ratio
of the camera to subject distance compared to the camera to snow
distance can be dramatic. But for an object that is right in
the snow, that won't work either...

Using flash in snow country usually means bumping into the
problem of cold batteries too. Bring enough spare batteries.
(And if it is cold, don't throw away "dead" batteries either.
Just save them for use in a warmer place, where the rest of the
charge will still be available.)

I do a significant amount of shooting in cold weather, so it was
well worth it to locate a couple of Quantum lead-acid battery
units. Each can power two flashes and with optical triggers I
can actually use up to four flash units in two different
positions. They are not as convenient as simply using alkalines
in most circumstances. But they are much cheaper in places
where freight costs make alkalines very expensive. And for an
all day outing in the snow, where you might be shooting hundreds
of shots, not having to stop and change batteries and not having
extended charge times as they go slowly dead is well worth it.

--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Matt Ion
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      11-20-2006
Jeremy wrote:
> Any tips for exposure when shooting on a snow covered mountain during the
> daytime?
>
> For people shots I am thinking of using hotshoe flash, possibly with
> positive FEC (on Canon 20D). For scenery, I am thinking of using exposure
> bracketing and seeing what works best by looking at the histogram. However,
> I am interesting in any tips from people that have shot these types of
> scenes before.


If it's any help, a friend who used to shoot snowboarding said they used a
"5/50/500" rule for shooting in bright sunlight: f/5, 50 ISO, 1/500s.

Compared to the "sunny-16" rule, that would be overexposing by about a stop...
 
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