Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WASHOUT

Photographing snow has always been a challenge for me being as I have not gotten around to investing in filters yet.  Nor have I figured out the intricacies of manual settings for lighting and all that other mumbo-jumbo that serious photographers really should know.  I took this shot of the cotton tail at a bad angle and the auto setting on my camera kept wanting to use the flash, which I decided to override and I made a bad attempt at adjusting the settings own my own.  Unfortunately the sun prevented me from getting a good preview of my shots so I just clicked away and hoped for the best.  Once the pictures were downloaded I realized my worst fears.  The pictures were 'over-exposed'.  Fortunately I was able to use my photo-fix program and got a little contrast and color back into my grumpy little cottontail.  He really should have been celebrating.  My family had actually gone rabbit hunting and I was just along for the ride.  He could easily have joined his relatives in the cooler, but not on this day.  He was nibbling on the landscaping plants in a no-hunting area.

6 comments:

plittle said...

That's amazing how much you were able to do with that shot. Does your camera have a spot metering setting? You might try that in situations with extremely bright or extremely dark backgrounds.
-Paul

abell1999 said...

There's some kind of trick with a gray card that helps in these situations. You get your meter reading from a mid-tone object or a gray card and adjust your camera manually to those settings for the picture so you don't get wash out. I think with snow, since its so bright you're actually suppose to decrease exposure by a half stop. Good luck!

www.xanga.com/jubie_matters

deslily said...

what the camera will not do for you.. paint programs will!!  ain't it great!?! lol

Cute bunny.. I know your family hunts, which i could never do..  but i llike you anyway LOL LOL...

sepintx said...

I know I'd be lost in snow. A filter is good route I think from my readings. Also heard white balance settings, a custom white balence for the scene. I've been getting into metering issues more lately. Amazing how you can recover digitally though from a washout.

gotomaria said...

It's amazing what you can do after the photo is taken with the fixit programs...really made a difference with this little bunny!
Maria

radar446 said...

You are right, snow is a difficult thing to capture in a photo...especially using full auto.  There are two things that I would suggest you try next time.  First thing is to go to a mode where you can use exposure compensation.   Meter for the snow (in lieu of the before mentioned gray card).  The internal meter should set the snow as a mid tone.  Now you need to open the exposure 1 2/3 stops and bracket 1/3 stop either way.  Your original picture should be right on, but just in case, when the bracket goes to 2 full stops above the meter, the snow will be rendered as featurless white.  The bunny should be exposed correctly in one of the brackets.

Another thing you might want to try is adding a skylight filter, or possibly an 81a warming filter.  Neither will change much of the color, but will dilute the blue color cast a bit.

Hope the pointers help.

Greg

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