Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Tips & Tricks (
-   -   Trouble with snow shots (

MattD Nov 15, 2003 7:48 PM

Trouble with snow shots
Whenever I take snow shots they always turn out this blueish colors. What settings should I use if I'm taking pictures with snow? I have a canon s50

BillDrew Nov 15, 2003 9:16 PM

The main thing to do is not trust your exposure meter: typically you have to open about one stop. If that isn't clear, experiment. You want to get the exposure so the trees and house are not that dark.

Your exposure meter assumes that the scene is 18%(?) gray. Snow is more like 90%.

Getting the exposure right will help with the blue color, but might not deal with all of it. If your camera allows, switch to manual white balance and try the daylight setting. If your camera doesn't allow that, you are stuck with trying to deal with it using your photo editor. If all else fails, convert to black & white - that works better for most snow shots anyway.

JanetKP Nov 20, 2003 11:45 PM

Bill, that is interesting advice re changing to B&W mode for snow shots. I will try it this winter. Thank you.

BillDrew Nov 22, 2003 9:22 AM

I'd strongly suggest that you continue to shoot in color and take the color out with your photo editor afterwards. That will allow you to desaturate the snow - making it pure white with gray shading - while leaving the barn red. Enough ptuzing that you probably don't want to do it with every photo, but very nice to be able to do with the special ones.

If you don't yet have it, get IrfanView (freeware) to do batch conversions. A good program to have for lots of things.

digcamfan Nov 25, 2003 1:28 PM

Hi Matt...

If your Canon can accept it, you might want to also try a Circular Polarizer.

With it you will get deep blues in your skies and the contours
of the snow will not be lost.


exagorazo Nov 27, 2003 6:18 PM

Sky color will greatly influence the color of snow for obvious reasons.

The same lake will look gray under cloudy skies and blue on a sunny day. The next time you are in an art gallery, look at some snow scenes. The artists will usually tint the snow blue because that's what it really looks like on a sunny day.

Snow merely reflects the color of the light shining on it. It is also very important to correctly set the white balance (and the exposure, as mentioned above) on the camera to have white snow in the photo.

bsdunek Jan 20, 2004 8:39 AM

Actuelly, with old fashioned film photography, you would need a UV filter. UV is what makes photos blue, and on clear winter days there is a lot of UV and also reflected by the snow.

Proper, not auto, white balance will help, and of course it can be corrected in PS. A filter is easy if you want to go directly to prints or web without PS.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:52 PM.