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IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS WITH


TIPS FROM NEIL COLLIER breaking down those technical barriers


Lesson 3 - Taking Photos in the Snow


Autumn and winter are very good seasons to capture great images. There are dramatic skies, colours and high winds, which in turn make for very changeable weather, sometimes for good or bad. Over the last few years, we have had signifi cant snowfalls, and there is nothing more satisfying than capturing a stunning snow scene.


However, shooting in snow can present some problems so take a look at some of my top tips.


DIGTIAL CAMERA (COMPACT) USERS The main problem with snow is that it's brilliant white and its highly refl ective tones fool the camera's metering system. All cameras have built-in metering systems that are designed to deliver a perfect picture, assuming average conditions. This system works well if the subject has a wide tonal range. With snow however, there is a large amount of white so the camera will see that white mass, and think it too bright, and as a result can underexpose your image making it look muddy and discoloured.


This was more of a problem with cameras with fi lm, and most digital cameras (compacts) have special modes you can select to enhance your image. If you check your menu for 'Shooting Modes' or 'Scenes', then you should hopefully fi nd settings such as Beach, Party and Snow. For snow covered environments, your fi rst choice would obviously be Snow but there are always exceptions, so don't be afraid to experiment with the Auto or Landscape modes as well, so you can better understand how your camera copes with diff ering scenes.


SLR USERS If you have an SLR and regularly shoot in Aperture priority mode (A or Av) then you can sometimes be at a disadvantage. Many SLR cameras don't have some of the user-friendly Scene modes on them, however there is a little trick you can use to help. If you take a photo and it appears to be a little underexposed or muddy, then look for your exposure compensation button on your camera. It resembles a +/- and an example of what it looks like can be seen on this page. If you move this dial, or little slider scale to the + then it


will increase the exposure therefore making it brighter; the opposite happens if you move to the negative. Another setting to consider is the White Balance. I have found that the Auto White Balance setting on my camera is very reliable in most cases, but if you should be getting a cast on your photo (an abundance of blue over your image) then it is most defi nitely an incorrect white balance setting.


Don't be afraid to experiment with the settings of your camera, just be careful when you are reviewing your images, as deleting them can be a little easier than you think sometimes!


What’s On In Swansea Magazine | 27


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