snow. it can be a bellyache, but also very pretty, if photographed correctly. I feel pretty experience in snow so I’d thought a share some tips to make your images turn out a bit better. I can pick out of an amateur photo Vs. a photo by someone who knows how to use their camera to it’s full capabilities (and I’m totally guilty of making the same mistakes in my early days). A lot of it has to do with which camera you’re using… the iphone has an awesome camera, but I will say that it (as well as your run of the mill digital point and shoot) still gets hella confused when something is high key (like when you’re around the white stuff). The details aren’t there and you pretty much have to choose between an adequately exposed face and blown out background -OR- an underexposed face and all-around muddy image. Usually, I choose a good face, but good news! with a dSLR, you can have your cake and eat it too! So while we have snow right now (or the next time it snows where you live), I encourage you to don 3 pairs of socks, grab a willing subject, and get crazy with it.
TIP No. 1
bump up your aperture
The first image below was shot at f 1.4. while the subjects are adequately exposed, you can see the foreground is blown out. there’s almost no detail. and yes, we know it’s snow, but the goal is to see the fine detail to show texture. the same issue happens a lot of times with wedding gowns. all that white, it’s easy to loose the beautiful lace/button/beading details that we all pay so much for. And just increasing your aperture one f stop makes a huge difference (see the bottom image).
TIP No. 2
If there’s already snow on the ground, choose a sunny day to take your pics,
either in the early morning or late afternoon.
Again, with the detail. if you have a cloudy day, you really miss out on peak/valley detail that shadows create. and since shadows create depth in an image (sometimes making-or-breaking it) even more so than aperture does, it’s an important element to pay attention to.
TIP No. 3
keep your lens clean.
Images taken WHILE it’s snowing are magical! But also cold, annoying, and fast-paced (there’s a fine line between gentle snowfall on a beautifully styled head of hair and a wet, stringy mess if you’re out in it too long) And annoying because I constantly have to wipe my lens and keep my equipment super dry. About the 97th time wiping my lens, my numb toes are ready to call it quits and grab a hot beverage. BUT my creativeness usually wins and my last shots are usually my best/favorites. So worth the pain in the ass, folks. keep your lens free from water droplets and dust. If you don’t you’ll wind up with spots of blur and haze. And 9/10 one of those fuzzy dots covers a vital piece of my subject….such as an eye ball. and that’s just impossible to fix. And whatever you do, change your lenses in the safety of the car. Water inside your camera=bad.
these were taken at Wilderness Park in Lincoln… more to come, as this was also an engagement shoot ; )
thank you Cody, Sheana, and Riley for modeling.