Posted by: David Vernon | January 21, 2010

Snow and FlickrTab

The Tree 55

So… a word about snow. And a word about FlickrTab.

Let’s talk about snow again for a moment. Here in the winter we obviously see a lot of the white stuff and it can be interesting to photograph. But we also see A LOT of very gray pictures full of gray snow. The bottom line – in spite of how gray it can be in Central Illinois – is that GRAY SNOW IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Now let’s cover how easy it is to solve gray snow – and let’s banish it forever.

Don’t be fooled by metering techniques. It doesn’t matter if you’re spot metering or evaluative metering (or any other kind of metering). The meter in your camera will see a lot of BRIGHT stuff and assume it needs to make a DARKER exposure to compensate. If you just shoot the image at whatever your camera gives you – then you’re going to have gray snow. The SOLUTION: YOU MUST OVEREXPOSE the image. Start with one stop over and see if that does it. If not – go further – is 1.5 stops enough? 2 stops? Usually by the time you get up to two stops you’ve gone too far. But that’s it. Overexpose a stop or so and your snow will turn white again.

Now HOW do you do that? If you’re in manual, just halve your shutter speed or open up one f/stop (like f/8 to f/5.6 e.g.). If you’re in any other mode, you’ll need to find the exposure compensation button. It looks like this:

It may not be HERE on your camera - but it exists somewhere. Could also be in your menus

Once you’ve found it, you need to press and hold it – and move the proper command dial until your display reads +1.0. Kind of like this:

Start at +1.0 E/V (exposure compensation) for white snow. It's that simple.

That’s it. Meter as normal and shoot – and your snow will move from middle gray to white. Not white enough – dial it up a little more until you’re liking it. Make sure your histogram isn’t spiked on the right-hand side – a sure sign that you’ve gone too far. You want to keep your histogram just bumping up against the right edge – while not actually climbing it. And when you’re done, don’t forget to turn it back to zero – or ALL of your pictures will be over-exposed.

That’s it. Snow as white as it can be – even in the grays of Central Illinois winters. No more excuses – I don’t want to see more gray images on flickr.

And in the meantime – speaking of flickr… FlickrTab is a Facebook application that allows you to directly reference your Flickr account within Facebook itself – on a separate tab on your profile page that looks very much like your page on Flickr. It’s like running Flickr inside of Facebook – a virtual explosion of social media. As you upload images to Flickr, FlickrTab will automatically post the images to your Facebook Wall too. If you spend time on Facebook, this looks like a heck of a good use of applications that aren’t named Farmville.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: