My Blog

How to photograph snow

How to photograph snow

The snow finally arrived to southern Sweden as well. Right away I had to take advantage of this opportunity, as unlike other parts of Sweden, we seldom get snow in these parts of the country. Grabbed the camera and headed out to visit a couple of places around Malmö. 

Many photographers struggle when taking photos of snow as the snow often comes out dark and grey. This has to do with the fact that the camera’s metering system wants to meter everything as middle gray. The results are often disappointing when pristine white snow becomes dirty snow.

The easiest way to correct this is to increase your exposure compensation on your camera by 1-2 stops to Brighter (see photo below). The results will be much improved as the snow will show up white just as you saw it when photographing.

 When photographing snow make sure you set your exposure to +1 or +2 to make sure that white snow acctualy comes out white in your photo

When photographing snow make sure you set your exposure to +1 or +2 to make sure that white snow acctualy comes out white in your photo

I would also advice to shoot in RAW, which makes it easier to make further adjustments in editing programs like for example Adobe Lightroom. Below you'll find 3 examples of photos that I easily corrected. Feel free to open the Lightroom screen shots in seperate window to see the settings even clearer.

The lonely tree outside Skurup

 The original image

The original image

 Corrections in Lightroom, converted to B&W image. Decreaed the blacks and increased the whites to create more contrast.

Corrections in Lightroom, converted to B&W image. Decreaed the blacks and increased the whites to create more contrast.

 Corrections in Lightroom, converted to B&W image. Increaed the blue channel to brighten the image and remove the dull greyness.

Corrections in Lightroom, converted to B&W image. Increaed the blue channel to brighten the image and remove the dull greyness.

 The final image

The final image

The village outside Skurup

 The original image

The original image

 Corrections in Lightroom. Increased the white, decreased the blacks and decreaed highlists to avoid overexposure.

Corrections in Lightroom. Increased the white, decreased the blacks and decreaed highlists to avoid overexposure.

 Corrections in Lightroom. Note that I added +100 in blue Luminance channel to get rid of the blue tint.

Corrections in Lightroom. Note that I added +100 in blue Luminance channel to get rid of the blue tint.

 The final image

The final image

Öresund bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen

 The original image

The original image

 Corrections in Lightroom

Corrections in Lightroom

 Corrections in Lightroom

Corrections in Lightroom

 The final image

The final image

By following this two step process you'll have great chance of catching that crisp winter image that shows the feeling of winter wonderland. First increase exposure by 1-2 stops and secondly shooting in RAW with greater possibility of enhancing your image in Lightroom or similar programs.

There are also other aspects like composition, time of day, depth of field etc, but these 2 steps should give you the initial tools for successful winter photography.

Below you'll also find a 1 minute video showing some of the areas that I visited.

Please feel free sharing this blog post.

I would highly appreciate it !!

 

Take care

Jacek