Winter has finally arrived and given us tons of powdry white snow over the weekend. I couldn't be more excited! I mean I could've done without slipping on that patch of ice and hurting my back -again- on Friday, but so what... not even that can put a damper on my mood these days. Since everything is covered in about 15cm of snow outside I figured it would be appropriate to compile a short list of tips that should help you when it comes to shooting in the snow.
Overexpose by about one stop
One of the challenges with taking pictures in the snow is that if you shoot in Auto or one of the priority modes you will probably end up with dull underexposed photos. Meaning the bright white scenery in front of you will look rather dark and greyish on your photo. This is because the camera will always try to get everything to average out to a middle grey, and when it sees all that lovely bright white snow, it'll think 'hey that's wayyy too bright' and try to darken it down. So, in order to get nice, and bright images in the snow, you should manually overexpose by one or two stops. (This is how this looks like on a Canon DSLR)
Shoot in RAW
Personally I think that if your camera has the ability to shoot in RAW, you should always, read a-l-w-a-y-s shoot in RAW (There will come a post on the pros and cons of RAW vs. JPG soon)! Especially if the lighting situations are tricky you will have so much more possibilities to fix and correct your photo later in post processing if need be.
Take a peek at your Histogram every now and then
If you are shooting in bright sunlight, it can be really difficult to see the image on the camera's screen so you probably won't be able to tell if your picture turned out too bright or too dark. In cases like this simply check your histogram to make sure you aren't blowing out any hightlights. ---> You would see a spike at the far right of your histogram, so that it is touching the wall. (Here's a great article explaining what exactly a histogram is and how to read it... don't worry it's one of the good ones without the extra nerdy photographer lingo)
Use that Light
The nice thing about shooting in the winter is that the sun comes up later and goes down earlier, which means it's a little easier to find that beautiful light (well on the weekends anyway, for those of you who have a Monday through Friday dayjob like me). The white snow also acts as a reflector, so you can easily get some beautiful backlit shots without carrying a reflector around with you, which is always nice.