Exposure adjustments in Snow


Well it did snow here in Seattle. An amazing day. A camera's normally miraculous autoexposure system can be confused by snow. As "Luminous-Landscape.com":http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t195.html explains, the camera is set to see the world as 18% grey, so if the world is much more white (e.g., snow), it will tend to underexpose to get back to that grey and if it see black (e.g., a night time shot), it will tend to overexpose to get to the grey. So, the solution is:

When there is lots of snow, overexpose by 1.5 to 2 stops. You can do this by either opening up the lense or decreasing shutter speed. Modern dSLRs make this simple with an Exposure adjustment, just set it to 1.5 to 2 stops to the right for a Canon and 1.5-2 stops to the left for a Nikon (the two camera makers reserves the sense of their adjustments).

Same with night scenes, if you have one, you want to underexpose as "About.com":http://photography.about.com/od/nightphotography/ss/NightPhotog_4.htm explains and "blackphoto.com":http://www.blackphoto.com/tutorials/lesson_night.asp provides a good tutorial but the net is normally I don't change the autoexposure system since you want the camera to overexposure, that is bring out the light that is in the scene. Otherwise, if you really want it to look dark, then you want to set it to underexpose by 1-2 EVs.

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