Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Play

We are moderately buried in snow. Not too bad, really, just enough to be fun. Nathan just commented that he's a little disappointed that we didn't get that additional 6 inches they talked about...

I rolled my eyes at him.

My brother had been telling me that I should take some snow photos. Snow shots are hard. Even if you don't count the wind and fleeting sun and the difficulty of operating a camera with thick gloves and snowblindness, there's the exposure. It's tough. Even with compensation, when I looked at them all on my computer I said, "Bleh."

They all needed some serious post-processing, and even then: bleh.

But oh well. It is what it is. I'm learning. (I think.)

At least I always have a willing subject ready to give me a little "cheese."


  1. So great!
    Yeah- exposure compensation needed. Overexpose to get the correct exposure, as the camera wants to underexpose due to extremely high light reflected off of the snow.


    A lot of photogs will disagree, but I really like the high contrast, blown out highlight snow shots. All 4 of these are great, but I love the last 2.

  2. I set the exposure comp to between +1 and +2. When I looked at them, they were all still quite dark. Of course, that gave me some decent leeway for curve and level adjustments.

    I actually also like a little "blowout" of snow. Otherwise, it tends to be too gray. I like a little dazzling brightness, as long as there is good color and light in the main subject.

  3. I like blown out whites (sometimes, when used properly, of course)with good bokeh. If you have a circular or near circular aperture that makes good bokeh, blown highlights actually get rendered pretty well sometimes.

    Mr. Informative rampage, I know.

    ...and it continues-
    I mentioned to you before about Adobe RGB color space. It's a great thing. I cannot rave about it enough. The editing power (in a RAW application, of course) is immense. The histogram is far more enriched, and you can really do some fine tuning to photos. You should see if GIMP supports it, and you should definitely try to start shooting RAW if GIMP has a RAW converter. Your mind will be blown. Even if you can't shoot RAW, the in-camera JPEG conversion from 16 bit Adobe RGB to 8 bit sRGB will produce really great color.

    I really envy your post processing skills. When I was shooting JPEGs with that exact same setup you're using now, I never got results like this because I'm post processing-ly challenged. Or maybe you're just a way better photog than me...

    Okay, sorry- that last bit was not meant as condescending-ly as it sounds. Just saying nice work.

  4. The only reason I haven't even looked into shooting RAW (though I'm sure I could make it work) is that I'm fairly certain that my computer couldn't handle it. It's an old machine and I've already got it pretty maxed out. I keep praying it's just going to keep going because I can't look for another one right now. It's been a workhorse, so I can't complain, but I run a lot of high-memory programs and I don't think I should add anything else to the load. Nathan just spend a bunch of time cleaning it up and trying to get it to run even marginally better. I've thought about putting more RAM into it, but I don't think it would be worth the investment at this point.

    I would love to shoot in RAW, and someday I hope I can do it, but for now... I really just have to be content with what I have. :-)

    As for post-processing-- I just really have a lot of fun with that. A lot of people just run actions, but actions are just collections of various steps that I can have complete control over if I do them myself. When I started image manipulation, I did a lot of step-by-step tutorials for various effects and enhancements and that gave me a feel for how everything works. So while I don't necessarily understand everything yet (digital color is awfully complex!), I can usually make a lot of small adjustments in various elements of the image.

    But thanks for the compliment... :-P