View Full Version : shooting in snow - tips?
07-17-2007, 08:59 PM
Hey everyone! I'm off next week on a shoot in NZ and I was wondering if anyone has any tips for shooting in the snow and getting great shots?
I've got a set of ND grads, which I'm assuming I might be using upside down to pull the snow down a bit....anything else I should be doing? This is really not my field - I haven't seen snow since my grandparents took me when I was 5, so any help would be appreciated!
Can anyone recommend any scene file settings that they've tested on snowy landscapes and found to give good results?
07-17-2007, 10:50 PM
I don't know if anyone else reads this site but its got some good stuff........
search for snow
07-17-2007, 11:41 PM
07-18-2007, 02:30 AM
I was wondering what you were on about!! Thanks for that link - of course, I never even thought about white balancing - I guess the best thing to use to balance would be the snow itself?
07-18-2007, 09:41 AM
I shoot a lot of skiing in the winter and I usually tend to shoot everything a little underexposed. If you shoot snow and you over expose your shot, it's a HUGE pain to work with when you go to edit. Just use your zebras and get your white balance right and you'll be fine. Make sure you have a good shade to cover up your LCD also. What you see on your LCD can be very deceiving with the bright snow reflecting back up at you so it's important to keep it as covered up as possible.
07-18-2007, 02:13 PM
I live in NZ and am just completing a series of TVCs that I shot last week in the snow - Central North Island ski fields. This is the second year and series I have shot there.
I happened to use my DVX for these shoots.
I got outstanding results and the camera handled the snow and sky perfectly as well as the actors. I used a reflector only for the actors. Only filter I used was a UV. The skies look polarised anyway and the detail in the snow was awseome.
My tips to you are simple:
1 -Shoot only in the sun with everything lit up.
2 - Choose your bgs and angles carefully related to the sun position so the snow does not look blue or icy wet.
3 - Preset Color balance for daylight is fine. Do not try and balance to the white snow.
4 - expose to Zebras and then let your eye tell you what to do. Best to be a bit under exposed.
5 - Wear sunblock - NZ has high UV
If you are coming thru Auckland give me a buzz and maybe I can show you some stuff. (PM me if this is thre case)
07-18-2007, 04:40 PM
Fritz, in addition to the suggestion of slight underexposure, I would recommend setting the gamma setting to Cine D. That setting lowers the knee (highlights) most effectively with that camera. It may also help to use a polarizer (not so much for sky) but to minimize sun glare off snow. If you are close enough to your subjects, using a soft reflector to fill faces will really help. That way, you can still afford to underexpose more to hold highlights. If you are in a heavy contrast area such as sunny snow mixed with dark trees and shadows, then you might consider also raising the master ped black levels just a little. This may help you preserve some shadow detail when you underexpose to hold the snow highlights. If you get too milky in the blacks, that can easily be fixed in post - but you will never get shadow detail back that is "crushed" during exposure.
07-18-2007, 04:47 PM
Thanks for some great tips guys. I think underexposing slightly is an excellent one - makes perfect sense although I doubt I would have thought of it if you hadn't pointed it out.
I'd love to catch up and see your stuff Shooter, but unfortunately I'm only going to the South Island. Flying into Christchurch on Tuesday and then off to Tekapo, Queenstown and Mt Cook. Will your ads be on TV in NZ in the near future? I'll keep an eye out while I'm there.
07-18-2007, 04:55 PM
More great tips - thanks rsellars! I usually use Cine V, so I'll definitely check out Cine D while I'm out there. My only worry with a polarizer is when I pan the camera I can get some nasty changes in the image which I'm sure are pretty obvious even to an untrained eye - and hard to spot on the LCD when they're actually happening. I suppose the solution to that one is to only use the polarizer for static shots. I'll keep the master ped in mind too.