Recent Photographs: all photographs © 1969-2013 by Carl Weese
A lovely high-key picture.I get to take snow pictures only occasionally, down her in SC, and I have discovered that getting the color of a snow picture right is harder than you might think. Last time it snowed, I set my white balance manually from a snow bank. It seemed to get me closer than my previous methods.Anyway, I like the shot. It would have looked good with a red SUV also.
David, you're right, getting the color right can be tricky, and cameras' AWB is often fooled. I always shoot RAW and do a few captures of a WhiBal card now and then. But here's the trick--getting the white balance "correct" won't necessarily look right. The colors will be technically accurate, but "the look" will be a little too warm. If you (I'm talking about working on a RAW file in ACR) click on the snow with the eyedropper to get a neutral white balance, then click the Temperature slider and use the down-arrow to click it back several steps, a couple hundred degrees Kelvin, you'll see the right interpretation of what your eye/mind complex saw at the scene. It's not a formula, you've got to do it by eye on a calibrated monitor, but moving just a little to the cold side of "accurate" WB will give the right feel to the picture.
Surprising to read the german word "Autohaus" on the building…And yes with the color of the snow it's not so easy.Especially if there is a mix of sun and shadow on the snow.Our weakness is the AWB in our brain, that prevented us seeing the true colors in what our brain defined as white.
Martin, it's probably just pretension. It's a used car dealership in a pretty run-down area. Despite the popularity of VW, I think most Americans associate "German car" with the luxury brands--Mercedes, Porche, BMW. In a similar way, American firms often put on an affectation of "Frenchness" for food or fashion products.
Love the non-colors here - faded blue against the white of the snow, counterbalanced with a small amount of red. With a red SUV it would have been a different picture.What I found as challenging as the white balance with snow images - Carl, moving a bit to the colder side from neutral is what I've experienced as successful, too - is the brightness you allocate to the snow. I found myself quite often tuning down the total brightness of the image to render the snow as interesting as I remember the whole scenery. More often than not my histogram turns out not to cover the full range up to the brightest whites, yet the images do work for me only then.
Markus, good point. I think we visualize snow as white-white-white, but in fact we also want to see all sorts of textures and details in that white. In Zone System terms, we imagine snow to be Zone VIII or IX, but in fact have to print it at Zone VII or lower in order to describe all the detail and texture.
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