Capturing at Snow. Techniques needed

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by alaios, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Dear all
    this comes from my first sets of pictures I got last Sunday. As these contain snow I want to discuss with you the technical challenges of the snow

    As you can see most of my pictures have a dark bluish hue which I do not understand. Please have a look at the photos and let's discuss afterwords for techniques on capturing on snow.

    I have also tried to capture snow but I have to admit even I made the camera close the shutter very fast was not able to capture the snow drops still so all the time were a bit blurish. Try to focus on the images to see what I am talking about

    Regards
    Alex


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  2. Frank Teurlings

    Frank Teurlings TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Dec 10, 2012
    Netherlands
    Snow what can see with the automatic white balance setting out bluish. For example, suppose daylight or cloudy as white balance. You photograph in RAW format, you can also easily change the white balance afterwards without negative consequences. A picture can get a blue glow by underexposure. The best you can try with + 1 stop overexpose and experimenting. Further on a white point focus. That is what I have read about and in practice there experimentally.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Snow pictures, because of the usually vast expanse of white, can fool the camera exposure meter into underposing the shot as Frank said. To combat this you need to do a couple of things (assuming you shoot jpg and not RAW) - 1) add exposure compensation to brighten the pics a bit. 2) either do a custom white balance or try the shady white balance to wam the pic up a bit an lessen the blue cast. 3) Add a colored filter to the lens to do the same thing as changing the white balance. Trickier than adjusting white balance in my mind.

    If you shoot RAW these are all easily accomplished as you process the pics on the computer. Well, if you're willing to post process your shots you can change the jpg as well I suppose, but you'll get better results with RAW.
     
  4. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    add a 1+ exposure compensation and work from there,snow fools the meter into thinking the scene is too bright and tries to bring it back to a neutral scene, you can also take a spot reading from the snow and lock the reading in with exposure lock.

    here is the original

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    and here is a slight adjustment to levels and a touch of yellow saturation in photoshop elements, so all is never lost in the digital era


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  5. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    and what about the snow flakes? IS it possible to capture them standing still?
     
  6. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Use a fast shutter speed... maybe 1/500 sec or faster settings.

    But not so simple. If you want a reasonable depth of focus (so that everything is in focus) you need to stick to at least F5.6 preferably F8 aperture. If it's too dark the high shutter speed and small apertures will need a very high ISO which will make the picture more grainy.

    I think you will slowly discover over time, that photography is really an art form of compromise.
     
  7. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    245
    Sep 20, 2012
  8. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Forget the bluish hue, your real problem is the camera is turning a quarter of your shots sideways!
     
  9. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
  10. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    203
    Jan 4, 2013
    England
    It's not Orange!
    Haha love it!!! :D
     
  11. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Capturing snow is easy with tongue
     
  12. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    That bluish tint is the "temperature" of the light. Warm sunlight is yellowish, the absence of sunlight is cold light which is bluish. Florescent light is greenish, tungsten light is orange-ish. Setting White Balance on AUTO should be able to compensate for this most of the time, but sometimes Auto WB can get confused.


    Exposure Basics:

    The fundamental function of the camera's light meter is to measure the amount of light coming into lens and automatically adjust your exposure settings so that what gets captured in your sensor (or film in the old days) is a middle average of lightness and darkness. In simplistic terms - a middle shade of grey.

    So in auto mode, if you take a photo of a white card (or snow) you will get a middle shade of grey.
    But, if you take a photo of a black card (or a pitch black room, or if you left your lens cap on) you will ALSO get a middle shade of grey. This is how auto exposure works at the most basic level.

    These days, with the aid of sophisticated software and electronics, auto exposure is much more clever. In fact on my NEX-5N, I have never seen a badly exposed JPEG night shot because the auto metering recognizes the night time situation and compensates beautifully. Darkness comes out black and not a washed-out grey. With basic auto exposure (without intelligent compensation) the camera will try to force a night photo to look like a it was taken during the day with horrible results. Not so with the NEX, taking a picture of a dark alley at night will look LIKE a dark alley at night (without fiddling with exposure over-rides)!

    However, it is harder for the camera to compensate in a situation where an overall brightness is blanketing your composition (such as snow), because it cannot distinguish if you are pointing at snow or straight into a light source. So the auto metering will often settle for a middle grey exposure.

    You need to help your camera in this situation buy introducing a little exposure compensation. If you don't want to use that feature, you have to go full manual exposure. The good news is that your NEX has a WYSIWYG screen... so you can easily see the effects of your setting changes in manual mode.

    Personally I don't bother with exposure compensation for this type of environment. I just lighten it on Photoshop because it's better to have more detail and then remove it, rather than risk over-compensating it in the camera because you cannot add back highlight detail that isn't on the original file. (I shoot exclusively on JPEG)
     
  13. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    245
    Sep 20, 2012
  14. BJW

    BJW TalkEmount Regular

    105
    Sep 30, 2011
    USA
    Bruce
    LOL!!! that was just cruel.
    Bruce
     
  15. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hahahha love it too!!!
     
  16. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Here is an icicle from today shot withy new sigma 19mm
    u6apeqer.