Winter Photography in Wharfedale

Snow Business

Otley Camera Club were not involved with this photograph of their local golf course but they have a very active Otley and District Photographic Society and web site Regular meetings take place at Prince Henry’s and the main event is the annual exhibition that will be held in the Courthouse, Otley.

Photography is a hobby that is available to virtually anyone and has a wide following. Below are a few comments and tips on photography in the snow but rather than read about it try it for yourself. Digital, slide or print film the winter issues are similar.

Snowy landscapes are among the trickiest situations to photograph with digital cameras. The exposure and white balance settings can easily be fooled by the bright lighting conditions.

Whether the sky is overcast or the sun is shining, special care must be taken to avoid messing up the colours completely. The very bright snow acts as a second light source by reflecting sunlight shining on the ground. Some cameras offer a Snow or Winter setting, and this feature can be very helpful. It usually corrects the Auto white balance calculation of the camera and lowers the exposure value to avoid over-exposing the image.

The Snow mode is usually efficient and delivers more than acceptable results. However, it is not perfect, and not always available depending on the brand and model digital camera. Moreover, using this mode usually means the photographer loses control over aperture and shutter speed, limiting creativity. Luckily, there are ways to take beautiful snow pictures even without the help of a preset scene mode.

If the day is cloudy as often happens in winter, the white balance is easy to set. The Cloudy setting generally available on most cameras works well in this situation and produces accurate colours.

The exposure often needs correction, however, and lowering the EV compensation by -0.7 or -1 is a good rule of thumb. To be on the safe side, using Center-weighted or even Spot metering is a good way to reduce the risks over-exposing your images, as long as the center of the frame is bright.’ According to our friends at Digicam

Tips for Photographing in snow.

1. When snow is falling, use a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the snowflakes. This is more efficient if there is a light source in your image.
2. Use the flash to fix the movement of the snowflakes. This will improve images that could otherwise look dull or blurred. Flash also lights up dark areas.
3. If you have access to a strobe lamp, use it with a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the snowflakes in sequence and create very interesting effects.
4. Shoot during the Golden Hours, when the sun is low on the horizon, to capture the texture and shape of the snow on what would otherwise look like a uniform field of white.
5. A trick for good composition is to include a single coloured subject in an otherwise monochrome snow landscape. This can produce very effective results.
6. Avoid shooting in sepia or black-and-white as it is easy, with these settings, to loose what little contrast your image has.
7. Remember to protect your camera from the cold.
8. Winter’s spare landscapes make great subjects, especially when punctuated with contrasting shapes, such as trees, buildings, animals, or equipment.
9. Contrast strong color against white snow for a striking image.
10. Create close-ups or capture winter’s patterns, textures, and colours.

Some of the above tips were provided by Hewlett Packard the producers of printers and scanners

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