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04-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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Advice needed, please

I will be going to Breckenridge, Co. next week. I am going to bring my k20, 55-300mm and Sigma 17-70mm and I would like to have a few suggestions on camera settings. Thanks in advance.

04-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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"On" is highly recommended.

My first thought is polarizer filters for a deep blue sky. At least a 58mm one for the DA55-300. At 17mm, a polarizer might create skies that are deep blue in places and washed out in other places, because the field of view is wide.

It looks kind of snowy up there today, so you will have to compensate for the snow in your exposures, otherwise you will end up with gray snow. The amount of compensation depends on the amount of snow in the photo. A good starting point is +1.0 Ev for general daytime landscape, and certain scenes may require more.

Snow also reflects blue sky in the shadows, so it looks blue. Although this is accurate, you may want to shoot in RAW and alter the white balance later for whiter snow. You could set a custom white balance for snow in the shadows but it will change in the sun. Shooting in RAW will help the exposure issues as well, because you have more latitude to fix things later.

In the daytime you'll probably have too much light rather than not enough, so the ISO can stay fixed at a low number. If you have a chance to take skiing action shots, you want a high shutter speed, and Tv mode is good for that. Otherwise, I can't see any reason not to stick with whatever mode you're comfortable with.
04-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks thats what I was considering. I always shoot raw and when I shoot my daughter's soccer game I set it in tav. I was just concerned about the snow. I'll give it a try and see what happens.
04-07-2009, 02:59 PM   #4
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Be careful about taking your camera from outside in the cold air into a warm room. Your K20 will probably be okay, but you might get condensation inside your lenses. This may not be practical, but the ideal situation would be to put the camera body and your two lenses into separate zip-lock baggies when you come inside so that the condensation forms on the outside of the bags, instead of on your gear. You could probably get by with two gallon sized bags...one for a camera w/lens attached and the other for the spare lens.

04-07-2009, 03:07 PM   #5
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I went today to get the ziplock bags. I'm still nervous about bringing it with me. I know i'll regret it if I don't bring it. I actually thought about taking it when I go sking but then decided that would probably not be a wise decision.
04-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #6
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Don't be nervous. It'll be fine. If it helps, I can guarantee you that you'd be kicking yourself if you didn't take your camera. lol
04-07-2009, 03:21 PM   #7
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Well when you live in southern Louisiana you don't encounter to much ( if any) snow. I'll Be sure to post the photos when I get back if I survive the skiing. lol
04-07-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Be careful about taking your camera from outside in the cold air into a warm room. Your K20 will probably be okay, but you might get condensation inside your lenses. This may not be practical, but the ideal situation would be to put the camera body and your two lenses into separate zip-lock baggies when you come inside so that the condensation forms on the outside of the bags, instead of on your gear. You could probably get by with two gallon sized bags...one for a camera w/lens attached and the other for the spare lens.
Fortunately, Colorado is really dry, which minimizes the problem.

04-09-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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Snow: don't meter off it. Meter off something more neutral. Doesn't matter what settings you use, as long as you know how to actually work the camera. In an auto-exposure mode, point at something neutral then hit AE-L. In M mode, point at something neutral then hit Green button.

You could also try simply pointing and shooting but dialing in a stop or two of exposure compensation, but that's kind of a goofy (if common) workaround. It's like solving the problem of having one chair leg too short by putting magnets in the short leg and the ground and trying to get the strength just right so they repel each other with just right force so the short leg stays suspended above the floot. Or you could just stick a shim under the leg...
04-09-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by digipics101 Quote
I always shoot raw and when I shoot my daughter's soccer game I set it in tav. I was just concerned about the snow.
I don't believe I'd let my daughter play soccer in the snow. (Do they use an orange ball?)
04-09-2009, 12:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
My first thought is polarizer filters for a deep blue sky.
One thing about shooting at the elevation of Breckenridge (~10,000 feet) - polarizers aren't really *needed* to get a deep blue sky the way they would elsewhere. On the other hand, if you've heard about this effect before and then find it to be more subtle in practice than it sounded when you read about it, polarizer can certainly be used to exaggerate it. Also helps with reflections from the snow, of course, although to me, that's often part of the scene I wouldn't *want* to tone down.

QuoteQuote:
Snow also reflects blue sky in the shadows, so it looks blue. Although this is accurate, you may want to shoot in RAW and alter the white balance later for whiter snow.
Along the same lines as my comment about snow reflections, it always seems funny to me that in the art world, we are trained to go out of our way to *look* for that blue color cast and be sure to paint our shadows that way - and conversely, to identify the color of the light and be sure our lightstruck areas reflect *that* color cast. Whereas in photography we work so hard to eliminate these casts!

Of course, even as an artist normally concerned about *preserving* color casts in my paintings, I still find the need to correct WB with tungsten light in my photography - tungsten lighting imparts a much greater color cast in photography than I'd ever normally perceive or try to paint. But I generally think AWB does a fine job on snow.

QuoteQuote:
In the daytime you'll probably have too much light rather than not enough, so the ISO can stay fixed at a low number.
Good point. Any fully automatic mode should be fine, but if you use Av, don't pick to large an aperture (small f-number) or you won't be able to get a fast enough shutter speed. If you see 4000 flashing in the viewfinder, you need a smaller aperture!
04-09-2009, 08:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Along the same lines as my comment about snow reflections, it always seems funny to me that in the art world, we are trained to go out of our way to *look* for that blue color cast and be sure to paint our shadows that way - and conversely, to identify the color of the light and be sure our lightstruck areas reflect *that* color cast. Whereas in photography we work so hard to eliminate these casts!

Of course, even as an artist normally concerned about *preserving* color casts in my paintings, I still find the need to correct WB with tungsten light in my photography - tungsten lighting imparts a much greater color cast in photography than I'd ever normally perceive or try to paint. But I generally think AWB does a fine job on snow.
Interesting! I know as much about painting as jazz (in other words, next to nothing). I know I don't like to fully correct WB for most photos I take under tungsten light, because it just doesn't look right.

QuoteQuote:
Good point. Any fully automatic mode should be fine, but if you use Av, don't pick to large an aperture (small f-number) or you won't be able to get a fast enough shutter speed. If you see 4000 flashing in the viewfinder, you need a smaller aperture!
Another use for the polarizer, it will eat up some light. I keep forgetting to buy ND filters; those would be nice.
04-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by digipics101 Quote
Thanks thats what I was considering. I always shoot raw and when I shoot my daughter's soccer game I set it in tav. I was just concerned about the snow. I'll give it a try and see what happens.
When shooting in snowy conditions I have settled on manual exposure. I meter the snow in the lighting the subject will be in and add 2 stops of exposure.

This works quite well at 4,000+ ft (1,200+ m) of altitude a bit North of the 49th parallel. Other geographic locations will differ. <<-- This is not an attempt at humour. Anyone who has taken photos in winter in Denver CO knows exactly what I am talking about. (10,000 feet or nearly 3,000 m) They even have UV problems in summer that high.

The other potential problem up here is the white balance. Our light is a bit more blue than one would expect because of less atmosphere to attenuate the UV rays. This is not problem shooting RAW, of course, or even JPEG max because the difference is really slight.
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