With the winter storm that just past (insert My Name is Jonas - Weezer), I wanted to go over some quick tips about shooting in the snow. It's fun to go out and see how everyone handles the winter weather. This can lead to some really interesting shots. Children having a snowball fight, dogs playing in the snow, adults doing not-so-adult things like sledding on things that can't support their weight or climbing the snow mounds left by plows. Snow is just all around fun. Here are some things that I've learned in my experiences from shooting in the cold fluff.
OMG IT'S SO BRIGHT:
Snow is white....really really white. Like, #OscarsSoWhite white. And it's reflective.....REALLY REALLY reflective. What that means is there's going to be less shadows and contrasty areas where usual detail would hide. Shooting the snow, particularly on a sunny day can be very tricky. Your camera's metering functionality may struggle trying to understand your shot. I always preach shooting in manual mode, but when in the snow, the big M basically a necessity. Even if you use the other auto settings (Full, Program, AV), you're likely going to get photos that are darker than desired. Use manual mode and your histogram to get the desired exposure for your shot.
PASS ME A COLD ONE:
This may seem silly, but make sure you keep your camera cold. Don't bundle it up under your coat or try to keep it warm. Now...I'm not saying toss it in the white, fluffy stuff because water and electronics have been bitter enemies longer than Tom & Jerry. But you'll want to keep the temperature of it low. Why? Well, if you have warmth on your camera, the lens, viewfinder and LCD screen will all have a tendency to fog up on you. It's fine if you're going for a dreamy look, just make sure to have clean cloths on hand to whipe away the impending condensation.
THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT:
This may seem simple, but you'll need to beware of footprints. Seems like an easy enough concept, but when you're out and about and you turn around and see such an awesome scene only to have it mucked up with the struggle path you left behind, it kind of takes away from the image. Winterwonderlands tend to look a little better when it looks like no one's been there.
GOING TO NEED SOME TLC:
When you get home and you're glancing at all the shots you got from the day, you're probably not going to like how they turned out. My bet is that you rushed a few shots due to the cold. By the time you're back, you're just happy to get your 8 layers of cotton off of every inch of your body. BUT DO NOT FRET! TRUST YOURSELF! Your photos weren't as bad as you think. Not if you shot in RAW like you always should. Your post processing skills are going to be needed to bring any snowy land to life even if your photos did come out completely how you wanted them. You have to breathe life into your snowtastic creations. And it's going to take some stellar post processing skills to bring in colors and contrast.