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Old Jan 29, 2011, 1:59 PM   #1
LEK
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Default Photographing snowy scenes/Alaska

Hello there. I've been practicing with my FZ35 and ZS3 and learning alot, taking workshops, etc. We're going on a trip to Alaska in late July and want to make sure I understand how to take photos in those conditions. Visiting Kenai Penninsula, Wrangell-Elias National Park, Prince William Sound, driving Glenn and Richardson Highways to Valdez, etc. for kayaking, glacier hiking, fishing, hiking and flightseeing and taking photos in all those situations. Likely taking photos on many cloudy, rainy days, of glaciers, snow, sometimes glaciers or mountains against water. I use both cameras on the program modes and follow the wonderful Beginners Guide posted here but generally do not use the manual controls, though I play with them from time to time. Here are my questions:
1) In photographing snowy scenes, such as a hike on a glacier, my understanding is that I should overexpose the snow, which I can do using exposure compensation. So I go up to +2/3 or +1, correct? This will keep the snow white and prevent a general gray look? What if there is a person in the shot? Do I still overexpose?
2) How about just using the snow scene mode? Does this do the overexposure for me or do I still need to overexpose even using the snow mode, and if so, by the same amount? What does the snow scene mode do to the photo, what is it changing?
3) Is a circular polarizing filter useful for snow scenes? Does it make a difference if it's sunny or cloudy? What about gray or rainy days in general, use the filter or no? Ditto for using a lens hood?
Thanks very much for your answers. I'm really looking forward to this trip and want to take the best photos I can.
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 4:28 PM   #2
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Loren-

Yes, a polarizer will be helpful when photographing glaciers. However, I would not be using +EV when doing glacier photos, that will cause highlight clipping and over exposure. A really simple solution is to use you Snow Scene Mode.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 5:10 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll use the snow scene for glaciers. Do I avoid the + EV on the glaciers because there is alot of contrast in those scenes? At the workshop I went to they said + exposure compensation for snowy scenes. Is that best used when there isn't alot of contrast and it's mostly snow? Or even then is it just best to use the snow scene mode and avoid the +EV?
So a polarizer is okay for glaciers even on cloudy dreary days, or only when it's sunny?
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 5:31 PM   #4
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Loren-

Here is a shot taken at Hubbard Glacier using the Snow Scene Mode. The blue sky tells you that this photo is not over exposed. We are ship board lecturer-teachers, and have done 6 seasons (May through Sept every year for 6 years) in Alaska.

So we have taken lots of Glacier photos, and never once have we used +EV. I won't say it won't work, as we have not used it. So my suggestion is to try it and see how you like the resulting images.

Here is a sample photo of our Glacier photos at Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 6:12 PM   #5
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Thanks, it will make things much easier to just change to the snow mode for glaciers. What about a really snowy scene where much of the scene is white, without the contrast of water and blue sky, like when we are hiking on the glacier. You advise to still use snow mode instead of EV, correct?
And a polarizer even on a gray rainy day will help the glaciers, not just on sunny days, correct? Thanks.
Oh, and the photo is great. I hope to get some striking photos on this trip, that's why I want to learn now. I want to get the information and then go up to the snow(no snow where I live, have to drive an hour or so) to practice this winter.
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 9:08 PM   #6
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Really nice picture of the glacier and reflection off the icy water.

.... And they pay you to work in such nice places? Nice occupation mtclimber




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Loren-

Here is a shot taken at Hubbard Glacier

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 29, 2011, 9:42 PM   #7
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I have used my ZS7 on auto mode and snow scene where there is lots of snow and actually seem to like the pics taken in auto mode the best. It seems to work best for me in auto for outdoors and program mode for indoors. I am still trying the other modes.

Bob
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Old Jan 30, 2011, 2:36 AM   #8
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It seems to me that this trip will be a big one for you. Also, it seems that the FZ35will shoot raw plus jpg. I would get a couple of larger storage cards and go raw+jpg. You don't have to work with the raw files when you return but you could if necessary. It may slow down your picture taking tho. I don't know how fast the FZ35 will write. Worth experimenting prior to the trip.
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Old Jan 30, 2011, 2:42 AM   #9
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It seems to me that this trip will be a big one for you. Also, it seems that the FZ35will shoot raw plus jpg. I would get a couple of larger storage cards and go raw+jpg. You don't have to work with the raw files when you return but you could if necessary. It may slow down your picture taking tho. I don't know how fast the FZ35 will write. Worth experimenting prior to the trip.
The only problem with using Raw+JPG is that the JPG image quality is really poor (gets bumped down to "standard" from "fine")
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Old Jan 30, 2011, 3:28 AM   #10
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The only problem with using Raw+JPG is that the JPG image quality is really poor (gets bumped down to "standard" from "fine")
oh. i didn't know. bad idea.
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