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Snow Pictures

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season and new year! Mine was quite enjoyable, despite sliding off the road while driving home on Christmas Eve (no harm done!) while the big day was delayed it was special nonetheless. There was quite a bit of snow here on the 24th and 28th that added up to almost 4 inches. Snowflakes are so beautiful and peaceful, yet so darn difficult to capture. I haven’t read much on the subject and was figuring it out as I went along, so I want to share with you what I learned about shooting in the snow. 

1. Overexpose

Your light meter will read the scene as very bright with all of the white, however to get the true whites to come out you will need to decrease your shutter speed and/or use a higher f stop, otherwise the snow will come out gray and muddy looking. 

2. Focus

I really like my short depth of field that creates a blur outside of the main focus. So using a high f stop between 1.8 and 2 made it very challenging to get the snowflakes crisp and sharp. This takes patience and very small changes in your focusing. You must turn your focus ring onto manual so that you can control the distance between you and your subject. Here are examples of me standing in the same spot trying to get the correct focus 

Trees in focus but a little boring

Too out of focus!

Just right! I like the attention on the snow coming down with the color and setting provided by the trees

3. Get Creative Use the imprints in the snow or extreme shadows to get a special and rare shot.  A few years ago I got an award in the local art competition with the tennis ball/paw print image, and in the same year took the eerie tree shot.

4. Prep your camera Most DSLRs come with a hood mount which attaches to the end of the lens that eliminates the glare caused by sun and snow. It is also possible for your camera to get too cold and even freeze. I was simply shooting around my front and back yard, going inside often and not staying out for a long period of time to avoid this problem. But if you are out in the middle of a field try to keep it in your case/bag when moving to another spot or even invest in a waterproof cover to ensure the equipment won’t be damaged by falling snow/sleet etc.  And just for fun, my long-haired dachshund Duke 🙂

Happy photographing! 


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