Shooting in the winter – over expose!

I love the winter. For many reasons but it is also one of my favourite times for photography. The reflected light from the snow is really useful and sometimes you can get the most incredible colours at sunrise and sunset. And since sunrise is pretty late in the morning and the sun sets early in the afternoon this time of year it is an excellent time to capture those special colours and ”scandinavian light”.

A tip if you are shooting snowy landscapes is to overexpose when you take the pictures. About 1/2 – 3/2 EV is a great setting if you have more than 50% snow in your composition. The reason for this is that the camera tends to underexpose snow, the reason being that the light meter in the camera expects the world to be 18% grey for a perfect exposure. Since the snow is usually pure white the camera tends to adjust it down, about 18% or so from the total white. Therefore your pictures can look devoid of contrast and bland when you have them developed.

Dial in a bit of over-exposure on your camera, make a test shot, turn on the highlight markings that shows if you are blowing out the snow and then shoot for perfect exposure.

Kallhäll in Snow
Winter light. The setting sun lends a pinkish hue to the whole setting.
Street light
Street light
Sagovägen in Snow
My car is the second one...