Family shoot in the snow

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by katrina_chickloski, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. I will be doing a family portrait of for people this weekend. I've started a list of my poses I would like to do. My concern is with that it is outdoors in the the frozen lake at around 2:30 (sunsets 4:15ish).
    Are there any tips one good give me for better exposures? I'm scared of either darkness or highlights.
  2. Meter on the faces, find out what will expose well for them, and then go manual. Keep your camera's brains out of the mix, so that it isn't fooled by the environment.

    Are you going to be using flash fill, or sticking with available light?
  3. I could use fill (camera flash)..I was going to use the most out of the available light for most shots so as I didn't have to play with too much. It will be fairly cold that day (-17) so I want it to go as smooth as possible.
    I was going to go aperture and use the exposure comp button but if manual is the way to go I will. I guess I just alter the flash speed but keep the aperture.
    That is something else that I will be battling, the aperture amount. I usually only shoot one person portraits..this four will be tricky for me.
    My camera doesn't have auto-bracketing..(if I could have my time back when I got it!!!!) so that is another think, I'll have to manually take those shots.
    And now I'm rambling, sorry. Thinking of lots before I do it.
  4. Katrina, I hope by (-17) you refer to (-17C)!!! For the usual snow scene, I would overexpose by as much as one stop to insure the snow is white and not photo gray. This could render the faces dark but maybe not. If the family is positioned in a certain way, the reflections of the sun off the snow and up into the faces may be enough light. You may have to add fill flash to lighten the faces. I think you had better get to the location 1/2 early with an assistant and take a bunch of test shots over the assistant to determine the right exposure and position of the family.
  5. The fill flash can often do wonders, you have the opportunity to use it so do it. This helps avoid black eyes and other problems. do you want colour in the sky keep at least 90 degree angle from the sun.

    But the exposure can be difficult when you wan white snow and blue sky so it is perhaps better to let the sky "go" if you want to have the snow really white.
    If there is Bright sunshine keep the models in the shadows from trees or something similar to get better control of the shadows and avoid too harsh contrast.
  6. Thank you all.

    I am crossing my fingers and toes this will all come to me tomorrow as I am shooting. I really want this to go well. Will let you know!

  7. As a suggestion....
    although it may be an overcast day, I would suggest a neutral density filter (or a sheered grey fabric held in place with elastic bands making sure not to effect the auto focus) over the lens. This will help separate the skin tones from the surrounding snow (colour tones). In addition you may want to consider a tripod so as to decrease shutter speed and capture as much natural light as possible (I also realise this is a difficult task when asking people to stand still). Over exposure can also assist here but it may create unnecessary high key tones (if you increase exposure setting and use a filter the resulting high key tones can be reduced significantly)... best of luck
  8. Here's a basic rule thats been around for many years. When exposing, using a grey scale card, snow will register 2 stops over exposed.

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