Monday, December 29, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Ice and Snow Shots

Image by Russ Burden

Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Ice and Snow Shots
Winter is upon us and the opportunities for snow and ice shots abound. Too many photographers put their cameras into hibernation this time of year. This is a mistake as many great images await the photographer who is prepared for the cold.

EXPOSURE - Meters are calibrated to reproduce what the lens sees as eighteen percent gray in the finished picture. In the end, this translates to gray snow. In order to prevent this, you may to need to dial in plus compensation. The amount is dictated by how much pure white is in the composition. Be sure to check the “Blinkies” and your histogram to get the optimum exposure. .

COLD - It’s essential to keep yourself and camera warm so you are able to operate when it’s cold. Dressing in layers is important because as the sun starts to warm the day, you can peel them off to maintain a given level of warmth without sweating. A hat and light gloves are mandatory as a lot of body heat is lost through the head and cold fingers will surely drive you indoors. Fleece socks and warm boots are beneficial. Give your camera the same attention. A pocket warmer taped to the area around the battery compartment will help keep the camera running. Keeping it inside your warm jacket when not in use will extend the life of the battery.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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