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Thread: Snow Cat

  1. #1
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Snow Cat

    About the only thing Scruff enjoys more than chasing bugs on a Summer evening,
    is going out and playing in 8" of fresh powder snow...he stands at the door
    just like a dog, begging to go out the second it quits snowing..Snow Cat

    Snow Cat
    1/250s f/6.3 at 250.0mm iso200

    In the above he had just jumped over a 2 ft. snow pile, and sat there looking
    at me as if to say: ......"Dad...this stuff's great....can I play in it??"

    Of course I told him...."You betchya you can. Have at it..!"

    Snow Cat
    1/500s f/6.3 at 34.0mm iso400

    This was a pure fresh snow, and with temps well below freezing it took on
    a nearly blue cast to it that made it difficult to get the WB right. The above pics are
    both at the same color temp., but the snow appears cleaner and whiter in the
    second pic. I had switched up to ISO 400 as the light was beginning to fade and
    to get a faster shutter speed; I was much closer to him in the second image.

    He had a blast chasing around the yard and diving into the snow as if there
    was a mouse underneath, and I've got some great memories of the afternoon.

    Of course, C&C is always appreciated!

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 27th January 2012 at 04:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Snow Cat

    Quite a challenge to get the exposure right given the whiteness of the snow and Scruff's dark tones. I note you saying the light was beginning to drop off. I wonder if that exposure challenge gets more difficult as the light begins to go and the darks get darker, but you still try and keep the snow white?

    You've made a pretty good job of it.

  3. #3
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Snow Cat

    Thanks Donald! The afternoon light was fading a bit when I shot the second
    pic, but I find the most challenging part being how sensitive it is to the overall
    color temp of the pic. I wanted to go "cooler", but the blue cast crept in, and
    it was strong enough that I had to reduce the blue saturation in order to keep
    the snow white.

    It's about melted off now, but no doubt we'll get more before Spring...

  4. #4

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    Re: Snow Cat

    Beautiful cat!! Love it when our fur pets play in the snow...they get such joy, and they already have the fur coats on!!
    Okay, I have a question about "fixing" the snow, may I copy your image and try to edit it, and then get feedback about the way I did it?

  5. #5
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Snow Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Beautiful cat!! Love it when our fur pets play in the snow...they
    get such joy, and they already have the fur coats on!!
    Okay, I have a question about "fixing" the snow, may I copy your image and try to edit it, and then get feedback about the way I did it?
    Thanks Nat, and by all means feel free to copy the image and apply your edits to it.
    I believe that is one of the best things about CiC, as that we get to see the results
    of other photog's perceptions of our work...

    Mike

  6. #6

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    Re: Snow Cat

    Thank you, Mike. I hope others will give us advice about this topic....I used CS5, and used layers boost the exposure of the snow, and then used the brush to "erase" the areas of the cat. In channel mixer I removed the blue tones. The top layer with the photo filter can add back any blues or other tones you want in the snow....what do others think about doing this?

    Snow Cat

    Snow Cat

  7. #7
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: Snow Cat

    I don't like the darkened snow at all.
    If anything I would blow out the snow to keep the exposure on the cat correct. Call it a white seamless background
    Of course you can always to layer masks for things like this. The exposure on the first one is pretty good as is.

  8. #8

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    Re: Snow Cat

    Hi Dizzy, Cool Cat!! Love those eyes and that look in the first shot.

    I did a quick edit on the second shot. Not sure you'll like it. It's not perfect, I think it has a bit of a colour cast on the snow now but perhaps that could be fixed in Elements. Not sure. I did this edit in Lightroom, I believe you have LR too so I've included the settings.
    When I looked at your original the thing that struck me was the lack of detail in the snow and the darkness of the cat, so that is what I tried to work on.
    I am curious as to what metering setting you used for these shots. It almost looks like you might have spot metered on the snow???? Just guessing and trying to learn. If I was going to spot meter I think I'd meter on the cat, but I hardly ever use spot metering. I seem to get fairly good results with Matrix metering and then if there is a lot of white increase EV until I get blinkies.
    I'm tired and starting to babble, so here is the shot and screen snips of the edits on the off chance that you like it. I've found that for snow shots, if there is nothing else in the shot that is blue, I turn blue saturation right down. I've also played with fill light and some of the other colour settings to try and get more light and detail in the cat.
    It's a pretty weird looking histogram and tone curve, but... I just eyeball things and this is what I ended up with.

    Snow Cat
    ReworkForDizzy by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Lightroom Develop Panel Adjustments Top half
    Snow Cat
    Top by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Lightroom Develop Panel Adjustments Bottom half
    Snow Cat
    Bottom by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Wendy

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