Taking photos in the snow on a bright sunny day are extremely tricky.
The photos will typically turn out very dark:
If you shoot in automatic mode, the camera will measure the light coming in through the lens and darken the image to make up for all of the white snow. The solution for this issue is to set the light meter a bit higher to compensate for this. If you shoot in manual mode, you cannot trust the light meter, and will need to shoot about 2/3 stop brighter than neutral.
It’s especially important not to trust the image you see on the back of your camera in sunny, snowy light. Once you get into a more typical lighting situation you might see that your photos are actually just fine. The histogram is the only thing you should trust when viewing the image on the back of your camera.
The photos are often blown out:
Direct sunlight in combination with bright snow can be a nightmare especially for manual shooters. Don’t be afraid, though. If you’re finding that there are completely white spots in the image, with no detail, you need to set the meter a bit darker. If you shoot manually, boost your shutter speed, increase the aperture, or decrease the ISO to as low as 100. Some of the photos below have parts completely blown out with total whiteness. It’s up to you as the photographer to decide which parts of the photo matter to you, and if you care that some of the details are lost. Don’t be afraid to mess around with your camera and have fun!
More tips for shooting in snow:
-Don’t forget that batteries hate very cold weather. Keep backup batteries inside your inner pockets to keep them warm.
-Always be safe. Don’t risk anyone’s life to get an epic shot. That’s what PhotoShop is for. Ha ha. Just kidding, kind of.
-Don’t forget to take a moment to breath in the beauty. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from these quiet moments. The inspiration isn’t always related to photography, either.