Photo Tip: Get the right exposure in snow

Five Trees pano

Since we still have the snowiest months coming, here is a vital tip when taking pictures in the snow. You have to give your photos more exposure than your meter is telling you, especially when the sun is out. A camera’s light meter reads the overall light in a scene and then calculates the exposure to average tonal value of 18% gray. So if the scene is mostly white, you’re camera will make the snow gray, not what we want. We need to increase the exposure up to two full stops more light to turn that gray snow back to the white that it should be. The same thing happens on bright, sunny beaches in the summer. And the opposite happens when most of the scene is dark, then we need to underexpose from the meter reading. So don’t forget that you are smarter than your camera and be sure to make the proper adjustments.


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