Friday, January 9, 2009

Snow Exposure

Yesterday was our first snow day of 2009. It was actually a wimpy sort of a snow day, Hubby made it into work just fine and the kids spent lots of time outside playing. Of course I had to get photos of the kids outside! It was my first time bravely taking the Canon out in the winter instead of the old P&S, and I'm really glad I had read a lot of articles about shooting in the winter first.

First shot, I left the camera on the settings I had been using indoors:

Yikes! What a mess! Obviously my settings are so very,very wrong. Let's start with White Balance, shall we?

Oops, had it set on cloudy. It's definitely not cloudy out! In fact, with the sun hitting the fresh snow, it's the exact opposite of cloudy. The world is one giant reflector!

This is going to be an example of making adjustments on the run. I'm walking and adjusting...

So much better! Wow, that WB sure makes a difference, doesnt' it? A simple switch from Cloudy to Auto makes a world of difference.

Now we're still a little blown out. Does it seem bright to you? It seems bright to me! You know what's a quick fix? I'm going to dial down my Exposure Compensation, see what that does for me...

Much better! And just in time, since now I'm nice and close to the kids!

These photos are SOOC just for you (and me), to illustrate the differences and the adjustment process I made. Learning to think on my feet has been one of the biggest parts of understanding my camera and getting great photos. All photos shot using the 50mm, AV setting, f/4....ISO 800? Is that right?

Oops! Guess I should have checked ISO before worrying about Exposure Compensation. Yikes again! That's what I get for going from shooting indoors at night to outdoors in sun and snow. Now we've really learned something--check all your settings before shooting! If I had realized I would have changed that first thing!

Next lesson to learn: spot metering. Because my closeups turned out great, but backing off a bit....

Oh, how that 800 ISO is messing me up! Fortunately I shoot in RAW, and just dialing back the Exposure Compensation a couple more stops in the software that came with the camera....

Saves that one from the dreaded delete key. They're right you know, once you go RAW, you'll never go back! It can allow you to save yourself from even the most boneheaded shooting on ISO 800 on a sunny day.

Thanks for learning along with me! For those of you wondering where my HSMSHS is, well, so am I! Yesterday's prompt was "Homemade" and I was determined to get a scrapbook page done to share with you, but never quite got there. I'm going to see if I can do it today and post a double, otherwise I'll just do today's prompt and post later.

PS: shot of the day:


  1. Fantastic photos! I love reading your learning process. I really need to take a class to learn the techno side of my SLR. And I really can't believe you just got your first snow!!!! I'm sick to death of winter storms already.

  2. nice demo. I got a new camera for Christmas and it's definitely a learning experience. The beauty of digital is you can learn on your feet and change quickly.

  3. Yep those are all the things I do too. Am getting better but it's so much to remember ALL the time - suppose it's like learning to drive....practice makes perfect- hope so!