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Old Feb 3, 2011, 8:39 PM   #1
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Default FZ35 - deer on snow

Here a couple of shots made a couple of days ago. They are nothing special, but maybe somebody has some thoughts on how to shoot them better. They were done on P, autowb, autoiso, ec-2/3. The day was cloudy. I'm not sure much can be expected -- brown deer, brown woods in the background, uniform show in the foreground. The shots are dull.
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Old Feb 3, 2011, 9:22 PM   #2
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Well, the big question is why negative EC. With snow you actually want positive EC as the camera will try to expose the snow as grey, resulting in an underexposed image. Using negative EC makes it even more so. Use positive EC - even if it blows out the snow a little - so that the deer are exposed properly.

Also - on a shot like the first one - shoot a bit tighter. In a shot like the second, choose either the two deer or the lone deer as the subject and frame tighter. That will keep more detail in the fur. The tighter framing, with proper exposure for the deer in-camera will get you good results on a grey day. Truth is - grey is often better, you don't get all the reflected light off the snow which blows highlights.
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Old Feb 3, 2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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Roger, you are right, these shots were made under some terrible conditions. I did some very quick editing on both, and improved on them somewhat. You can get much better results working with original files vs resized ones. Anyway, I used the burn/dodge/sponge tool in PSE 4.0, a little USM, and of course I cropped and saturated the deer a little, some real simple stuff. I love deer (not to eat). You have some nice shots there. Do like John says, and I think they will improve. Some pp afterwards never hurts, either..

Remember, these edits are quick and "dirty", your results may be MUCH better than this..
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Old Feb 3, 2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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An excellent improvement, Hawgwild-

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Old Feb 3, 2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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Yeah, you want to meter against something other than the snow (preferably something mid-green or similar) and/or compensate the exposure positively.

I had a quick (like 30 seconds) go at processing your first shot with Picasa:
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 3:51 AM   #6
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Try each metering mode when faced with these circumstances...Spot metering will help the camera expose the subject properly, but as John said it may blowout the snow...Center weighted metering with the pointer from John about framing closer would have probably given you a better shot of the deer, but cut much of the landscape...

If given the opportunity I would have captured a photo with Spot, Center-Weighted and Multi-Metering...I would have also switched over to Scene Mode and set to Snow Setting and captured them again...this will give you many photos to choose from even though the 3Mp Snow setting may seem low it works well to capture shots similar to this...
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 3:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments on these two images. I know they are nothing special (unlike most images posted here), and are dull. But, perhaps I thought something can be learned from scrutiny of them, something that can be used elsewhere.

These scenes have no color, nothing to make them ďpop.Ē And, I realize they are underexposed. I didnít put much effort into them, but took the opportunity to shoot anyway. These were the only two I managed to get at this time. Last season, we had many deer close at hand, and they were quite tame. This provided me many opportunities to shoot, and to experiment. This season, the herd is very sparse, and they are very skitterish. Just getting any shots is an accomplishment this season. Therefore, while the suggestion for a matrix of experiments is a good one, the situation isnít very conducive to much experimenting.

The comments about EC -2/3 is a good one. I tend to shoot most of time at EC -2/3 (did so with my former camera, 6,000 images in two years, most were EC -2/3). Maybe I tend to like images with lesser exposure. In this case, EC should have been 0, at least. It was a dark, cloudy day, despite the snow. I hope to get more opportunities soon, and I will try EC 0, at least to start.

Somebody suggested Snow Scene (SS). Iím not sure how much change it would have made. Let me explain why I make that statement. A couple of weeks ago, when the ground was covered totally with snow, I did some experimenting. The day was without clouds, full sun. I took six shots, all from different directions with regard to the sun. My intention was to learn how SS might help with definition of the snow.

I did the same shots, first with P, then with SS. I had the camera set at autowb, autoiso, and EC -2/3. In comparing the two shots of the six different images, I felt that SS gave no better snow definition. The SS images were nearly identical, except were more exposed. The camera chose ISO80. For P, it picked f8 at 1/400. For SS, it picked f6.3, at 1/400. This confirms my observation about the exposure differences.

Has anybody else done much experimenting with P and SS in different situations?

First image is P, second is SS.
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 5:11 PM   #8
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Pictures of snow/snowly landscape can be attractive , but I think sun is almost a must have.Sun+snow+some lovely details make it really something.

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Old Feb 6, 2011, 4:29 AM   #9
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hrvoje, that's a really nice snow photo
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