Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #2193

    Today I bundled up my son and tossed him (gently) outside into the snow (ok, literally, but only off the porch/deck). He thought it was really fun. I got some good shots, used the 75-300 lens so I didn’t have to trudge through the snow with the camera and also I don’t have snow pants myself. However, I noticed that while some were ok exposure-wise, I also got some that were really bright, almost washed out. Also kind of hard to judge also when I’m out there because my glasses also tint. The f/stop was I believe 8 or 10 (I upped it after a while as things got too bright) and the shutter speed around 250 to 320 as well (also upped for the brightness). ISO was set at 400, though I’m thinking for bright snowy pictures, I should probably lower that. When I let the camera do auto ISO for a bit to get the hang of it, it seemed to prefer 400, so I usually manually leave it at that unless I’m in a low light setting.

    Oh, and the white balance was set to sunny, but I noticed that sometimes the pictures have a blue hint that needs to be corrected after – should I change that in camera or after since that as well isn’t consistent?

    So, for consistency, any suggestions to get the best overall shots?

    Atrus, btw, had a blast outside. He said something about snowman, a fireman, clumps of snow were either space ships or rockets. He made a “house” in the snow, asked to go “left or right” (also no idea). I tried to get him to make a snow angel, but he didn’t want to listen to how that was done and instead laid on his belly and almost did the same thing anyway.


    A polarizing filter is supposed to help quite a bit with reflections off the snow. If you’re going to let the camera set the exposure, you might try switching to spot metering instead of evaluative. On a Canon, this is indicated by the single small dot as opposed to the dot with the surrounding circle. That forces the camera to meter only on the center point instead of also evaluating the surroundings. That way your target (your son) will be properly exposed, even if the snow gets blown out. Other than that, the alternative is to find a set of exposure settings that produce a decent picture (you can look at the historgram to get an idea), set it to manual exposure and then duplicate those settings so it’s consistent.


    Snow (and ice) are some of the hardest things to photograph in well, at least for me. But, most of my experience there has been in the local indoor skating/hockey rink too, so ymmv.

    So, can’t speak too much on the exposure settings, because I don’t have much experience outdoors there, and it’s also going to vary so much depending on angles and reflectivity. I will say, though, that I’ve gotten a lot better results going manual and figuring out what’s working best that day, and not worrying too much about the white balance – I’ve been keeping it on auto, and correcting for that after I get home.


    With regards to white balance, you can have it correct for sunlight (in which case the shadows are going to be blue) or the shadows (in which case sunlit stuff is going to be yellow) but not both at once. The fact is, light in the shadows really is a lot bluer than we perceive it to be and when you have a shadow falling on white snow that becomes very evident in photos. To “correct” it you need to actually adjust the shadow color balance separately from the sunlit portion of a scene (or you can try to split the difference, but I don’t find that usually works).


    I’ve never got what I consider to be perfectly lit pictures straight out of the camera so take my advice with a grain of salt. On overcast snowy days, I use the cloudy white balance setting and then I up the exposure compensation to +1.0 or as much as +1.7. This keeps the snow from looking gray.

    Sometimes I cheat and use the snow/beach scene mode if I’m trying to figure out what to do, I put it on that mode and take a few snaps to see what the camera thinks is best. Then I switch back to manual or aperture to see if I can make the shots better.


    Hubby was going to pick me up some polarizers for my stocking this Christmas, but he ran out of money (spent $80 instead on new headphones for me). I’ve been thinking about getting some for a while anyhow. It would seem, however, that Newegg’s stock of 58 mm filters is, well, out, so unless I purchase locally or from someone else for more (assuming that stock never comes back in), I’ll be waiting a bit anyway. Add that to the change at work from every other week checks to now twice a month checks (thanks to us getting bought out back in April and now being transitioned the rest of the way over to the new company), so things will take some adjusting money wise. I’ll keep a look out for a deal on filters though.

    He’ll be going outside again tomorrow, so I’ll try lowering the ISO to 200 (maybe 100) and see what I can get with that. I do have more range to go on the f/stop, so I think I might up that too and then only adjust the shutter speed as needed and see how I do. I’d like to get a shot anyway (if I can without the filter) of sparkling snow.

    Out of the some 200 pictures of him this afternoon (I know, I probably take too many), I chose 17 that were what I consider the best. I’ve tried uploading them to my normal photobucket account, but apparently it’s being dumb tonight, so I thought I’d make these my first uploads to Flickr instead (I already had yahoo, so I thought I’d meander over to Flickr too, but it’s not pro) and see how that worked out. I’d like some critiques. Most I color corrected slightly or tried to bring into proper brightness/contrast/highlights/shadows balance. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the full size if you want, or if not, I’ll be uploading these to Photobucket at some point or to one of my Facebook albums (if any of you want to look me up and send me a friend invite, I’m in the Farktography group there).


    Edit: Photobucket is now working. Linky for that album:


    this one is awesome.

    Really captures the moment. I like that the crispest focus is on the snow, but there’s enough focus on the kiddo as well. Don’t we have a ‘Winter’ contest coming up sometime? I’d say this is ‘in’.

    My opinion only, YMMV

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.