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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Taking snow pictures, need setup tips
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12/09/2006 09:14:47 PM · #1
Ok well im going up to Mt.Baker (if you know where that is) tomorrow for the day with my family, can anyone give some tips for getting the best results with snowy pictures? I only have the 18-55mm kit lens, no filters etc. yet so how can i get the most out of this, as far as camera settings go. For regular outdoor use what would be a good default S.S, Aperture, ISO setting, and how can i reduce most of the glare off of snow? On a side note, i havn't been able to find it in my manual, how do i shoot in Raw format on a 350D. Thanks in advance.
12/09/2006 09:16:32 PM · #2
EV +1 or so so the snow doesn't look grey/gray. Keep the hood on. Bring extra batteries as cold weather will deplete them much faster.
12/09/2006 09:17:38 PM · #3
I would assume that RAW mode can be access them the menu as is the case for most cameras. Try the same menu that you can change from different Jpegs.

Message edited by author 2006-12-09 21:18:04.
12/09/2006 09:26:41 PM · #4
K im still new to dslr and stuff, i just got this 2 days ago, question, what do you mean by "keep the hood on" and what do you mean by EV +1? And i did find the Raw format thing, was under quality.
12/09/2006 10:10:22 PM · #5
Originally posted by kawana:

K im still new to dslr and stuff, i just got this 2 days ago, question, what do you mean by "keep the hood on" and what do you mean by EV +1? And i did find the Raw format thing, was under quality.


If the lens came with a lens hood use it so you don't get flare.
12/09/2006 10:45:49 PM · #6
Originally posted by kawana:

K im still new to dslr and stuff, i just got this 2 days ago, question, what do you mean by "keep the hood on" and what do you mean by EV +1? And i did find the Raw format thing, was under quality.


Try this, if you are in Av or Tv mode, turn the big wheel on the back clock wise a couple of notches. Watch the LCD on top of the camera (or the numbers inside the view finder) and you'll see that it goes up a 1/3rd of a stop with each click. So after 3 clicks, you're at a +1. After 3 more clicks, you're at +2.

Snow is bright white. But your camera only understands gray. It wants everything to be gray. So it will pick an exposure that will turn the snow gray. By dialing in a +1 or +2 (I'd go +2) for the snow, you'll get white snow instead of gray snow.

Similarly, if you take a picture of a black dog, where the dog "fills the frame", the camera will try to turn the dog gray. To make the dog show up as black, you need to under expose by dialing in a -1 or -2 exposure compensation. Make sense?

Oh ... and don't forget to change the exposure compensation back when you're done!

12/10/2006 02:29:41 AM · #7
alright, so should i like use A-dep to get the general settings, then to +1 from there? What ISO's should i use? im not good with them yet lol 100, 200?
12/10/2006 03:46:47 AM · #8
Hey,

Dwterry has some good points, but he's got a 5D and is thinking in terms of the higher end Canons.

If you're in AV or TV, hold down the the button that says AV beside it, and roll the roller w/ ur index finger: the one behind the shutter. Here, you can experiment with the amount that you tell the camera to expose the picture (that's my understanding of it).

I can't really see there being any set numbers when roaming around... i'd say to really play with it. Stick with an ISO (low # if it's sunny, etc) and a aperture but keep on rolling around the shutter speeds.

Read up on your manual. As well, here's a handy introbook: http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/index.html

good luck.
12/10/2006 04:40:20 AM · #9
Didn't someone once say to keep the WB on sunny/daylight?
12/10/2006 06:10:22 AM · #10
Have a read in the camera's manual about "exposure compensation". That's what was being talked about with the +1EV. Basically you need to dial in a bit of compensation from the normal exposure to take good shots of snow, because if you just meter normally the camera will think that the snow is meant to be grey, and will underexpose the entire shot.

Keep in mind that exposure compensation will come into play in Av and Tv but I don't think it works in P or Auto modes. It's also largely irrelevant in manual where you could just dial the settings to overexpose.

I'd probably use sunny WB, but that doesn't matter if you're shooting raw because you'd set it in post.
12/10/2006 07:04:43 AM · #11
Originally posted by kawana:

alright, so should i like use A-dep to get the general settings, then to +1 from there? What ISO's should i use? im not good with them yet lol 100, 200?


Use the lowest ISO you can to keep the noise levels down. If your shutter speed is too low increase the ISO, but otherwise for a sunny day outside 100 should be perfectly fine.
12/10/2006 07:22:13 AM · #12
Originally posted by Raziel:

Originally posted by kawana:

alright, so should i like use A-dep to get the general settings, then to +1 from there? What ISO's should i use? im not good with them yet lol 100, 200?


Use the lowest ISO you can to keep the noise levels down. If your shutter speed is too low increase the ISO, but otherwise for a sunny day outside 100 should be perfectly fine.


The above comment goes for pretty much all conditions (unless you are trying to add artistic noise to an image)
12/10/2006 03:03:20 PM · #13
ok that would explain why my shots were coming out grainy, had it at 400iso cuz i was just guessing lol ok thanks. These tips should come in handy today. Just really wish i had a better lens and some filters lol, oh well... someday.
12/10/2006 08:36:47 PM · #14
Originally posted by kawana:

ok that would explain why my shots were coming out grainy, had it at 400iso cuz i was just guessing lol ok thanks. These tips should come in handy today. Just really wish i had a better lens and some filters lol, oh well... someday.


Yes, always shoot at the lowest ISO that gets you acceptable shutter speed (which determines how much you freeze action) and aperture (which determines depth of field).

For an excellent discussion of how your camera tries to make middle tones gray (so a pure white background like snow, which has no real gray spots, turns all gray), see Bear_Music's landscape learning thread. Search for "Lesson 2 Basics of Exposure "
12/10/2006 11:49:48 PM · #15
k well ended up not going up to mt.baker as we wern't sure weather it would be accessable, so we decided to go look at the veter river and take some shots. Bah this whole shutterspeed and aperture thing is confusing. The shots turned out ok i suppose, could have been better, ill post some examples. (these aren't ment to be "artsy" i was just taking practice photos) Ticked off cuz i accidently had Tungsten WB set for the forst 15 shots. I dont know how you guys know all this shutterspeed, aperture stuff, it boggles me. Hope i get better at this stuff, dont want that $900 to go to waste! So here they are, out of a crapload of shots, these are the only ones i could really salvage with my crappy PS skills, There's a few other ones but photobucket is being stupid and wont let me upload them.

image 1

image 2

image 3


Message edited by ursula - please post link or thumbnails :).
12/11/2006 01:48:06 PM · #16
If you shot RAW, download Digital Photo Pro (DPP) from Canon's support website. You can change the WB to whatever you want when processing the RAW photos.

You can use pretty much any Post Processing software (Photoshop, etc) to change the WB of JPGs and TIFFs.

Its a bit late, but a lens hood will reduce flare, which may be caused by sunlight reflecting off of ice or snow. If you don't have one, you can either buy one or go to http://www.lenshoods.co.uk/ and print one out.

As far as your pictures go, a little PP will help. I think Adobe Lightroom (its free now) can work on JPGs (I know it works on RAW). Bring the dark and mid tones up to open up the shadows under the trees. Here's a quick 5 minute edit, if you shot in RAW you should be able to recover most of the highlights.

437294.jpg

Message edited by author 2006-12-11 14:05:02.
12/11/2006 08:06:11 PM · #17
I did shoot them in raw, problem is im not that great using raw editing programs. I have something called Rawshooter pro that i got from my uncle, but even hes not that good at using it.
12/12/2006 01:34:33 PM · #18
OK, RSP is easier to use than Lightroom.

You have to learn these programs, a DSLR assumes that you will do some post-processing and doesn't increase contrast and sharpening the way a P&S does. On the other hand, you can get much better pictures from a DSLR.

Open your RAW image in RSP (Use the same one I used for a demo). At each step, see if you like the effect and modify it to your taste. First use the eyedropper to set a white balance, then try auto and "as shot" and see which looks the best. Next, increase the fill light till the trees and shadows under the trees look good. Bring the highlight contrast down, probably as far as it will go. Move the shadow contrast up a bit if the dark parts don't look dark enough.

Go to the Curve/levels tab and select high contrast. There are three triangles on the bottom of the histogram chart. Grab the left one, bring it in to the start of the histogram. Grab the right one, bring it in to the end (right side) of the histogram. Play with the middle slider, see what it does. (note that you should watch the histogram change when you do all the steps, starting from the first one). Go back and play with fill and the controls near it till you get something you like.

Go to the color tab, bump up the vibrance and compare what it does to what saturation does. You probably don't need to set vibrance higher than 5).

Go back to the detail/noise tab, set the image to a 100% view (enlarge it) compare detail extraction to sharpness, and then play with the noise suppression sliders.

BTW, Adobe bought pixmantec (makers of RSP) and RSP may become available in lightroom. I don't think there will be another version of RSP.

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 13:35:41.
12/12/2006 01:54:46 PM · #19
I would suggest tha you read and re-read your manual and get yourself some "field guide" books at your library. If you don't learn the basics (Av, Tv, Exposure compensation) you will hate your camera (not because it is not a great camera) and that will be a $900 wasted. I know how hard it can be to understand it at first, but keep pressing in. We've all been through it.

Good luck!
12/13/2006 12:16:28 AM · #20
Would a circular polorizer help with snow photos?
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