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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Snow photography settings...I want to know how i can shoot the best pictures Possible of snow landscape with my canon EOS 550D ...
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Old 28-11-2010, 17:12   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Snow photography settings

I want to know how i can shoot the best pictures Possible of snow landscape with my canon EOS 550D camera.
Id be possibly looking at taking my pictures either early morning or mid afternoon.I have already read advice on the doo's and dont's of winter photography however don't know exactly what settings are ideal- I tried ISO 200 f/8 1/500 ... and ISO 200 F5.6 1/250 .. result was not good.

The lenses i have at the moment are :
Canon zoom lens EF 24-105MM 1:4
Canon 18-55mm

Which lens is best to use out of the 2?
what settings are best? . eg ISO , Aperture and shutter speed.
what is the best mode too shoot a snow/winter landscape in?
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

Just over expose enough to make the white snow come out white instead of grey, usually 1 or 2 stops but avoid burning out the highlights. I would use the wider of the two lenses as I like to show tracks leading into the distance and that lens will give me the greatest depth of field when stopped right down
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:37   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

Yep - +1 ev is a good starting point for snow.

Impossible to prescribe both a shutter speed and aperture as that would need us to know how much light there is in that location that day. For snowy landscapes I'd recommend starting at F11 in aperture priority mode and, as long as the camera gives you a shutter speed of over 1/60'' or 1/focal length you're using (whichever is higher) then snap away

As for ISO - your camera's base (lowest) and up it if you can;t get a fast enough shutter at the aperture you want.

Not a cure all - but a starting point.
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Old 29-11-2010, 21:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

This one was over-exposed by 2 stops. The good thing is that there's plenty of light.
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Old 29-11-2010, 22:02   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

Hey CP.....it is awesome that we now have some snow to play with. The kids love it and photographers love the lovely scenaries!
I too would echo the choice with the wider lens, however, that is just a stab in the dark as you didn't tell us what you are trying to photography. Landscape, I think it is safe to go with a wider lens just in case you need that width but sometimes you can get away with a 24mm even with the crop factor.

In terms of exposure, that I think depends on what you are taking pictures of and the mood you want to set for the picture. If you want white snow, then yes over exposing the shot by a couple of stops would work, but I encourage you consider what you are taking a picture of and play with your exposure setting from point exposure, to center weight to matrix and see which one gives you the result you want and from there consider if you need to over expose or not. If you have the time and the patience, you can do a quick zone metering and see which combination works for you or just snap a few and see which setting works.

In terms of landscape, if I can get away with it I try to set my ISO as low as possible, and this is true with snow on a sunny or bright day as you get a lot of reflection so you might as well dial down your ISO and that way you get nice pictures that you can blow up later if you have some keepers. If you are not going too wide you can consider a neutral density filter or a polariszer to add some richness to your colours.

You can also consider do ing some HDR pictures as well.
Love to see some of your awesome pictures on here. Take some and show us and we can all learn from it as well as enjoy it.
Good luck
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Old 04-12-2010, 19:08   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Snow photography settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Turner View Post
This one was over-exposed by 2 stops. The good thing is that there's plenty of light.
Thanks for sharing this is such a good picture .. really like . Thanks
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Old 04-12-2010, 19:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

Thanks allot for that answer Dookie was very clear description, i was photographing landscape .. and in the end I ended up going out at around 8 in the evening, so it was pretty dark . But i think i managed to do it I gt some shots, i really want to put them up just don't know why i can't upload them. Having problems i am new to the site as well so not sure if i am doing it right. I ended up using my 24-105 lens and i think i used settings : 1/6 F4.0 ISO 3200 with no flash at all. Was happy with the result ... am not very experienced you see and have never photographed snow in the night.

Thanks again for your help

Last edited by CP.MO; 05-12-2010 at 14:33.
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Old 04-12-2010, 21:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

its all about practice and experimenting, to be honest the settings someone gives you for any given scene should be viewed as a starting point only, as there are so many factors to take into consideration with the scene you are shooting.
learn your camera, learn as much as you can about shutter and aperture and how they work in league with each other, and get out and practice....... two other things........ enjoy it all, and mind and share the experience with us!
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:18   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Snow photography settings

I've always found you can't go wrong with an incident light meter and set the camera to manual.

All you need do is pick your subject, point the meter sensor, which will be covered by an incident light disk or dome, back at the camera position, read off the exposure and transfer to the camera. Your shots will look fine every time.

Of course, lots of digicams have special settings for snow or beach scenes and they'll work well, most of the time.
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