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Help for Snow/skiing pictures
I just bought a Rebel XTi, and i'm going out skiing next weekend, and was wondering what kind of tips/techniques you guys could give me for taking a decent picture..

Like I said I just got the camera and have been messing with it all day, getting use to the features and getting to know where all the buttons are..

I got the camera with the 18-55 and 75-300 lens neither with the image stabilzation, as i'm just beginning and want to get use to a camera before I spend big bucks on one of those...

Comments (7)

Take lots of exposures and bracket. Remember snow in sun is really bright and your camera will want to overexpose. Personally, with my digicam I usually shoot minus 1/3 but also at 0 and minus 2/3 - that's in scenes with both skies and snow (I usually shoot minus 1/3 in most lighting, actually)..

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Is a photo that I wanted the clouds to stand out against the sky..

This picture at Artist Pt (Mt Baker, Washington state) has both dark and light tones..

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I find that sometimes balancing the sky I want with some texture in the snow is a case of emphasizing one or the other - or remembering my graduated neutral filter. All photos are taken with a circ polarizer filter, as well..

Try horizontal:.

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Vs vertical:.

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And be sure to warm your hands often if you need to remove your gloves to operate the camera.Val.

Http://www.mtnlover.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

The camera will want to *under*expose, not overexpose as claimed by Mtnlover. Perhaps his camera has a 'snow' setting which automatically applies exposure compensation..

You will possibly need as much as +2 stops of exposure compensation, but that is something of a guess because I've never used my 400D in snow. It may be less. Use centre-weighted average metering as evaluative can be a bit hit-and-miss..

Best thing to do is take a few test shots at the earliest opportunity. Try +1 and +2 EC and look at the histograms. Because of the large amount of white in the picture the 'peak' should be well to the right, but if it is so far right that it is bunched up/cut off at the end of the histogram you have used to much positive EC and the snow will be burned out with no detail..

Consider shooting RAW, and use a RAW converter which is good at preserving highlight detail - CaptureOne is pretty good..

All the above assumes there is a *lot* of snow in the picture. Less snow means less EC...

Comment #2

Oops, me bad. Yeah, snow is BRIGHTER than 18% gray, so camera will try to make it gray and normally you would add light (thanks for the catch, there). I shoot aperture priority, and still find minus 1/3 or no compensation, depending on the amount of white snow in the picture, to work best for me..

Since my monitor is not calibrated, if my pics do look too dark or too bright, would appreciate the feedback.Val.

Http://www.mtnlover.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

Mtnlover wrote:.

Since my monitor is not calibrated, if my pics do look too dark ortoo bright, would appreciate the feedback..

Third and fourth are good; second is ok but slightly underexposed to my taste; first is definitely underexposed. I take your point about the sky in that shot, but the snow is grey. Here's the result of a Levels adjustment in Photoshop:.

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The snow is bright and appealing, and the sky is still good..

Do bear in mind that the amount of bright, sunlit snow is actually not that great, in all four of them. There is as much very dark stuff as very bright stuff, so the one will tend to balance the other in the eyes of the meter..

Remember too that my advice was directed at typical skiing shots where half the frame is bright white snow and half is sky - different situation and more difficult to get right...

Comment #4

I've just returned from skiing. I did not take one of my DSLRs because they are too bulky. if you are into the black runs then falling with such a camera on board can not only damage it, but more important damage you if you fall on it. So I took a little SonyCybershot. Not only does it take excellent shots in the snow (very few are badly exposed, but he HD movies feature is great too. you can't beat a little film of yourself or friends whizzing down the mountain!.

Ther only problem is that it's virtually impossible to see the lcd for taking pictures or changing settings. So I just set it on Auto, pointed it in the right direction and pressedthe button.Result? Lots of great (?) shots and movies.Jules.

Why can't you blow bubbles with chewing gum?..

Comment #5

Snow images can be a lot of fun. But remember the meter in you camera sees only 18% gray. Most snow is not. You will have to override the exposure meter to give you white snow. What this means is shooting at f/22 rather than f/16. But check the histogram for drastic overexposure.

For the best exposure use an 18% gray card for the correct exposure. That way you can meter off the card...

Comment #6

JulesJ wrote:.

I've just returned from skiing. I did not take one of my DSLRsbecause they are too bulky. if you are into the black runs thenfalling with such a camera on board can not only damage it, but moreimportant damage you if you fall on it. So I took a littleSonyCybershot. Not only does it take excellent shots in the snow(very few are badly exposed, but he HD movies feature is great too.you can't beat a little film of yourself or friends whizzing down themountain!Ther only problem is that it's virtually impossible to see the lcdfor taking pictures or changing settings. So I just set it on Auto,pointed it in the right direction and pressedthe button.Result? Lots of great (?) shots and movies.Jules.

Yea I have a panasonic I plan on bringing to do some pictures, but I'm not really worried too much about the bulkiness as i'm going to be bringing my girlfriend, and it's her first time, so I won't be doing anything crazy/ or don't plan on falling. I was also planning on snapping a few shots of us snowmobiling, there's a few nice mountaintops we can get to, so I hoped to take a few pictures there...

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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