Snow Photos-How to shoot so the snow is white!

© Nansaidh ( Help)
I love shooting in the snow but found often my camera would want to make everything mid-toned creating images of gray snow, yuck! Here's is what I do to solve that.
© Nansaidh ( Help)

First, I frame my shot and focus. Then I zoom into a bright area of snow in the scene. Using my exposure compensation button, I dial in a value between +2/3 to +1 2/3 Exposure Value, depending on the brightness of the snow. Then I take a meter reading, remembering the settings, I switch to manual, and dial in the new shutter speed and aperture. This overexposure will ensure that the snow looks white, but it won't blow out other objects in the image.

© Nansaidh ( Help)

Try it and see if you helps you find fluffy white snow, rather than gray blah snowy images:)

© Nansaidh ( Help)

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January 08, 2014


Thanks for the sharing. I use overexposure (usually +23) when I shoot subjects on isolated white background in light cube.

December 26, 2013


Thanks for the info and sharing.

December 20, 2013


Using histograms and exposing manually to the right is very helpful too (in most of the situations)

December 19, 2013


Thanks for sharing, great images.

December 17, 2013


Good one, saves port processing time!

Some more if anyone needs this:
The camera would always expose the selected area (spot, scene, whatever) to (18% grey + minimum highlights and no shadows)
So if your image is mostly white, use + EV values.
If your image is mostly black, you may need to use - EV to prevent overexposing blacks. :)

Canon users, turn HTP on all the time to ensure better details in highlights and to get a better dynamic range.

December 17, 2013


Thanks for sharing, very useful blog!!!

December 17, 2013


Well done! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful images!

December 17, 2013


Different way to do it, very interesting! Thanks

December 17, 2013


I think the girl is your daughter, she is so beautiful

December 17, 2013


very useful , thank you

December 16, 2013


Nice !

December 16, 2013


Great article. I find it very helpful,

December 16, 2013


Nice photos and thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge!

December 15, 2013


Beautiful images. Your system must be working. When I take pictures of this type I put the camera in face recognition mode and the camera is smart enough to read the light only from the recognized face and nothing else. This works if the background is a black tunnel or brilliant snow. But you are right, one should a bit overexpose because snow pictures should be generally whiter than others, even the face itself. The most important thing is NOT to leave the camera on matrix metering mode which will average the image and expose for grey.

December 15, 2013


Easier just to bracket heavily and check and recheck........ throw away images with under or over exposure. Your images are excellent. David.

December 15, 2013


Nice helpful tip, thank you ! Lovely photos also !

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Photo credits: Nancy Ziller.