BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Ziad H. Dabash

How to Shoot In Snow

I wonder how to shot photos in snow - what is the best setting?

To love this question, log in above
10/18/2003 4:34:12 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Snowscape scenics are among the most difficult to expose correctly. Many come out with the snow rendered as a dull blue/grey color instead of white. Most in-camera meters are designed to turn the bightest component within the scene to a neutral grey. If at all possible, you should meter on a neutral colored object which recieves the same amount of light as the scene you intend to photograph, then, re-compose and shoot the scene at that setting. This will usually work out to become @ 1 to 1 1/2 stops over what your meter recommends as a correct setting... depending upon how brightly lit the scene is. Use this setting as a starting point, and bracket a half-stop under and over to be sure.

To love this comment, log in above
10/18/2003 3:17:04 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
If you're using print film, there's also the challenge of getting the print lab to print it correctly. One-hour drugstore labs are notorious for not doing this very well. If you find a good consumer lab (one-hour variety) that makes prints well, treasure it . . . and most of all try to find out who's operating the lab equipment when you get the properly made prints. It is quite dependent on the person maintaining the equipment and operating the print machine.

To love this comment, log in above
10/19/2003 7:41:11 PM

Elisheva Smith   Hi Ziad
I was taught to take a reading from the highlights, snow in your case, and then open 2 stops that will details in the shadows and you will not lose it in the highlights.Another thing a wellknown photographer taught me:
A black cat on white background;open 2 stops.
A white cat on black background;cole 2 stops.
It worked for me, but then in Israel snow is very rare.

To love this comment, log in above
10/21/2003 4:50:29 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.