|Photo Tip & Assignment #12 – WINTERThe first snow fall of the winter is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another completely different. Everything is covered with a white fluffy blanket and any ordinary city or landscape becomes extremely photogenic.
If it is hard to get up from the warm bed, the purpose of taking beautiful photographs should bring some joy to an otherwise harsh winter day.
If your white wonderland images normally look grey and dull, there is one very important tip for photographing any predominantly white subject.
The secret is: OVEREXPOSE. That is right!. As against the logic as it sounds, overexposing a bit your white images will produce a more accurate representation of what you see. It is one of the challenging exposures situations when we cannot trust the light-meter of our cameras, as the way cameras read light is almost always based on a mid tone (grey 18%). When more than 70% of your viewfinder is white or black, you must compensate the exposure correctly: Overexpose for white (or highlights) and Underexpose for black (or shadows).
For snow, fog (image on the left) or predominantly white scenes, try to overexpose 1 stop, or 1 and a 1/3 stops either on Manual Mode or using the Exposure Compensation function. Be careful not to overexpose too much or you will lose texture and details. A good idea is to bracket your exposures, that is, make 3 or more exposures from the same scene, to be able to analyse them on the screen later.
Batteries run out more quickly on cold weather. If you have a spare one, keep it warm in your pocket. Alternate the two batteries every hour or so. This will sure extend their lives.
Another big challenge when photographing outdoors during winter time has to be camera shake. The freezing temperatures make it more likely to happen. To avoid it, a tripod might be handy, or simply make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/60, 1/80 of a second. Hold your camera properly, as you have learned on your workshop.
If there is no snow, frost or fog, try to include elements that evoke winter, for example: leafless trees, fireplaces, gloves, scarves, couples holding each other tight, pets wearings little warm clothes, the possibilities are endless.
Upload your Winter images to the Flickr Gallery: ASSIGNMENT #12 for a chance to win an Evening Workshop Voucher at LSP*.
Photo and Text: Luciana Franzolin