Any tips for shooting in the snow?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Keeper, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Keeper

    Keeper Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2010
    I have been trying to get some decent photos of the pups playing in the snow. Problem I am having is with everything being so bright, the dogs look really dark.

    Here are some examples:




    Anything I can try to make the shots a little better?

    These are shot on the EPL1 with the kit lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jmacpix

    jmacpix Mu-43 Regular

    Trying using the exposure compensation control set from +1/3 to +1. That should help.
  3. Keeper

    Keeper Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2010
    Thanks I will give that a shot in the morning.
  4. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    EV up 1/3 to 2/3 it will help with the underexposure, allot of snow fools a camera's metering.
  5. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus New to Mu-43

    Jul 18, 2010
    More like EV +1 to EV +2. Or get a Nikon with Color and 3-D Matrix metering ;)
  6. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    Increase the exposure compensation to move the right hand edge of the histogram further to the right so it just touches the right side of the histogram frame. Can you do that live with your Nikon while framing your shot at the same time?
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wear your mittens.
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X4 on adding some EV of exposure

    Might also want to set a custom white balance on the snow
  9. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    A long time ago I checked the light reflecting off the palm of my hand and compared to a grey card. I use my hand to check exposure and then apply the difference to my camera and that works for me. Of course it you take Gary's advice you might have to allow for your mittens. :biggrin:

    Almost forgot for me it is 1 1/3 difference, so if you ever find my hand in your pocket and have the chance to use it now you know. Best bet is to calibrate your hand.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Keeper

    Keeper Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2010
    Thanks for the tips! Did I mention I have only ever used a p&s? So any sort of adjustments are new to me. So with that in mind I went out this fine (freezing) morning to play with the camera.

    I started off on the wrong side of the EV adjustment:


    Then I went to the opposite direction:


    And then every step in between.

    +1.3 looked about right to me:

    Then I realized I was outside in a t-shirt and ran back in the house!
    • Like Like x 4
  11. AceStar

    AceStar Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    In Rotterdam in the snow I found that I was constantly dialing in exposure compensations of between +1 and +2, typically +1.7 or so.

    I was using center weighted at the time. If you use center weighted metering, you have to adjust for when the majority of the scene is coloured white, or black. Evaluative metering might be a bit smarter.
  12. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd say point your cross hair at anything other than white and pull the trigger.:rofl:
  13. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Keep it up Keeper - they're cuties! That last one is looking much, much better!

    Grant, I like that palm of the hand suggestion.
  14. Keeper

    Keeper Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2010

    As you can see my subject was real

    I was playing around some more, then I got a package in the mail, my pany 1.7/20 showed up today. :D
  15. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2010
    You're encountering two separate problems.
    1 - exposing for snow. Cameras have always had a hard time exposing properly in the snow. The trick is to use a grey card or a suitable substitute. Since your dog has similar color density to a grey card, you could probably expose on one of it's mid tones. Use your cameras AEL (auto exposure lock) and aim at a part of the dog that is closest to grey. Then frame and shoot.
    2 - digital cameras don't do as well as film cameras when confronted with extremely high contrast scenes. Granted they're WAY better then early digitals, but still not perfect. Sadly, there is no solution to this other than creative post production.

    In your case, the latter pic turned out quite well despite the extreme contrast. Some of the snow highlights are blown out but not bad. In all, your solution worked well, but you can save time later by using the ael and when you get used to using it, you'll wonder how you lived without it this whole time.

  16. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    looks allot better, glad it worked out with you. You can also shoot a 3 shot auto EV bracket, between by steps of 1/3 is you are not exactly sure of the exposure. And pick the one that works best. Also at night, do the same to get the camera to get the right darkness, but - EV.