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Thread: photographing in the snow

  1. #1

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    steve

    photographing in the snow

    Hello everyone,
    Looking for advice, had my first real attempt at photographing in the snow today . As you can see from my shots below, i had a few problems . If anyone would care to share their secrets/tips , i would be most grateful .
    As always C&C welcome.

    Many thanks

    p.s i think my main problems were, exposure and focus , but let me know what you think


    photographing in the snow


    photographing in the snow


    photographing in the snow


    photographing in the snow

    photographing in the snow

  2. #2

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    Bobo

    re: photographing in the snow

    What problems? You have the birds nice and sharp. The streaking snow adds to the environment so overall those are very good shots. The snow looks ok too. In #3 you can lighten up that one grey spot of snow under the foreleg.

  3. #3

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    re: photographing in the snow

    Snow is always tricky, Steve. And mixing dark birds with white snow doubles your problems.

    The usual advice for snow, or bright summer sand for that matter, is to spot meter for the lightest areas then set your camera to that, with a little exposure compensation as required.

    However, in this case you have to decide which is most important. If the birds turn out a little on the dark side you can always lighten the shadows/midtones during the editing. But too much under exposure of them to cope with the snow can lose fine detail particularly with the feathers.

    With these photos, the Starling is perfect. The blackbirds are possibly at the wrong angle to get all of them correctly focused with a rather shallow depth of field.

    However, using a narrower aperture, say F11 instead of F7 would mean either lowering the shutter speed, which is inadvisable, or increasing the Iso. You may have got away with Iso 800 but this does risk increasing the noise.

    All you can do is to get the eyes sharp; which you seem to have managed.

    Was this auto focus and handheld or with a tripod? Poor conditions like snow can fool the auto focus so sometimes it is worth also taking a few manual focus shots as a double check.

    You didn't say what lens. A shutter speed of 1/160 may be a little on the slow side for handholding a large lens.

  4. #4

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    steve

    re: photographing in the snow

    Thank you both for your comments.
    Geoff : i used a sigma 170-500mm lens and it was on a tripod. I did have problems with the auto focus , as you mentioned, it kept trying to focus on the snowflakes. I did a mixture of manual and auto focus . Thanks again for the advice

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    re: photographing in the snow

    I don't see anything disastrous here Steve,

    I agree with Geoff and Bobo's comments.

    Additionally, can you lose a bit of the blown snow in #4?

    I have been shooting handheld at 1000mm with a P510 today, very disappointing, but a tripod isn't an option for the (open) 'fanlight' windows I am trying to shoot through. The main problem is subject movement caused by not being able to up the iso, or noise and softness if I do. In comparison, these are great.

    Cheers,

  6. #6
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Tommy

    Re: photographing in the snow

    I really like them. The birds are super sharp

    As others have mentioned the snow is blown out somewhat. If you are shooting with a tripod as you stated, why don't you take an extra shot at the end, with a faster shutter speed to expose for the snow covered areas. You could then blend that in with a layer mask quite easily in PP. Just a thought.

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