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Snow is certainly in the news so we asked Digital Photo Academy Instructor Frank Siteman to share an image and tip for those of you around the country who expect snowy scenes. Learn more about Boston based photographer Frank Siteman and see more of his images here.

 

Sometimes, quite often as it turns out, great photos are no further from your front door than your front porch. This image is an example of that. No need to travel to a distant land or even get in the car to chase the light. I did have to put on a serious coat and go outdoors though, but once there, all I needed was a vision and a camera.  

 

snow photo tips

 

To give this image the feeling of the day, I selected a tungsten color balance, which gave the chilling blue color-cast to the snow. The contrast between the on-coming car’s headlamps and that blueish snow make the vehicle pop from the photo. I actually enhanced the lights with NIK software, darkening and warming them, and used another NIK filter to add a cool glow to the overall image. One important technical aspect of shooting in the cold and/or snow is to keep your equipment (and yourself) warm and dry. I made a plastic covering for the camera with an opening just large enough to poke a lens hood through. When not actually shooting, I kept this opening pinned against my body which prevented any snowflakes from landing on either the camera or the lens.

 

If I’d stayed out longer, I would have kept the camera under my coat, not just for protection, but to keep the battery warm. Shooting in the cold can suck the life out of your battery in a very short time. To address that, I always keep an extra battery in an inside pocket, next to my body, and switch it out with the battery in the camera which is continually chilling as I work. For extended shoots outdoors, I hold a Hothands Hand Warmer outside the camera’s battery compartment. Along with keeping my battery active, I end up having at least one warm hand as well. Another win-win. My camera was the Canon 5D with ISO 100, 1/60th sec, 24-105 IS lens at f/5.6, shot at 105mm.



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