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02-17-2014, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K-30 snow/frozen water pic settings

Going out to try and get some pics of frozen waterfalls before they all melt. Not sure what optimal settings would be on my new K-30.

02-17-2014, 07:23 AM   #2
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I try to keep the ISO around the 200 range to make sure I have enough dynamic range.
I was out Friday doing the same thing, but it was unfortunately overcast and not as contrasty as I'd have liked.
Pictures in my Flickr stream. The ISO crept up on me, but since with this type of photography I don't have much need to crop close, the noise isn't bad at all. Really all I did was bump the contrast a little, adjust exposure and bump the vibrancy/saturation a few ticks in LR4. Oh, and a little shadow recovery and black boosting helps with the images, too.

So, I shoot in TAV mode with aperture in the 5-8 range. Adjust shutter speed to keep the ISO in a good range.
02-17-2014, 07:38 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If the scene is predominantly snow/ice, the camera will tend to underexpose in normal automatic exposure modes. The K-30 has a "snow" scene mode, I think, that should compensate for this.
02-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
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If I don't like the way it is exposing in a certain light, I usually take a couple of test shots and see how much exposure compensation is needed. Another tip might be if you don't normally shoot in raw to do so. And even if you do shoot JPEG, you can recover the last picture's raw from the buffer, play with the settings to develop it how you would like it developed and then set those up before proceeding.

02-17-2014, 12:38 PM   #5
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Absolutely shoot in RAW or at least RAW+
Even if you're not familiar with it now, you'll have those "negatives" you can really work with later.
02-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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Turn on the highlight warnings if you have them. Then you set the exposure so that you only have tiny sparkles that are overexposed - tiny blinking specks - but make sure that you have one or two with the snow, or it will come out muddy grey. Myself, I use the spot meter, manual exposure, point at a bright snow area and add two stops of exposure using the scale in the viewfinder and optical preview.
02-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
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As with any type of scene with a digital camera, you will want to expose for the highlights and let your shadows fall where they may. Not all cameras meter the exact same way nor do all sensors record the same way or have the same dynamic range. Therefore, you will need to do some testing to fully understand the limits of your camera's sensor. Metering off of bright snow and then taking several images at increased exposures (e.g. +1, +1.5, +2, 2.5, +3, and +3.5) will allow you to know the limits of your camera. An increase of 3.5 is too much, but that's done purposely to know exactly when you've gone too far. If your camera has the ability to be adjusted by 1/3 stops, you should consider do so as opposed to 1/2 stops increments.
For the most part, I expect your final results to indicate that an increase of 1 2/3 to 2 1/3 is needed from indicated exposure off of bright snow.

The f/stop to choose should always be based on the amount of depth of field that is required and not necessarily because it's a snow scene. Shooting a portrait in snow or a snow-filled landscape - both are snow scenes (more or less) but required different settings.

Measuring off the snow in Av, Tv, or even Program and then using exposure compensation or putting the initial readings into manual and adjusting things from their will work equally well.

Using a polarizer can reduce the glare and the overall brightness range which will make it easier for your camera to render detail in both highlights and shadows.

If you are unable to take a single image that can record the highlights and shadows to your liking, then consider taking multiple shots at different shutter speeds (leave your f/stop the same) and then blending them later in post.
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