Monday, November 12, 2007
Trick Shots: Snow
Jump in to winter photo opportunities with these tips
Watch For Washouts
When photographing snow, especially in bright light, you need to be very careful not to overexpose the highlights in a scene, the brightest part of a subject.
After you take a shot, check your camera's histogram and make sure you don't have a spike on the right, which indicates a highlight washout. Also check your camera's overexposure warning, which shows overexposed areas as flashing on-and-off zones.
When I took these two pictures, one of an ice floe in Antarctica and one of a polar bear in Cape Churchill, Canada, I checked my camera's LCD display to make sure I had a good histogram and that I hadn't overexposed areas.
Often, snow scenes are monochromatic. That being the case, if your camera has a black-and-white mode, take a black-and-white picture to see how the scene looks as a grayscale image. Even if it looks great, take a color shot because you may want a full-color shot later. In Photoshop Elements, you can convert your color image to a black-and-white image (Mode > Grayscale). You may need to make some Levels and/or Contrast adjustments after conversion. I've found that converted grayscale images tend to look a bit flat.
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