Saturday, January 16, 2010


An image which got away.

This is snow on the trail at Peace Valley Park. As noted in a prior post, it was very cold. Thus the snow did not melt on the ground; it remained as crystals and acted as a myriad little prisms. And I tried to get an image of that.

Now I had the 100-400 mm lens on the camera, and that probably was not the best for this task, the depth of field being too shallow and requiring too much distance between the camera and subject. The second problem is that I under exposed and thus the grayness of the snow. I can fix that somewhat in post processing, but at the cost of the sparkles. Third the center of the image is too sharp. To enhance the color sparkles I wanted to have the image slightly out of focus, which would enlarge the color spots. You can see the effect in the upper and lower parts of the image, although it is too much as you get closer to the edges of the frame.

Alas, we don't get that much snow in my part of the planet, and when we do it doesn't last (or I have to work! I much prefer not working!). So I don't have much opportunity to practice my technique. Any suggestions on how to do better are gladly accepted. So please let me know what you would do in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I think you caught the snow glistening beautifully! To get rid of the blue/gray casts you may want to try playing w/ the white balance...once I started doing that my snow looked white again (although I am not so sure you would get that cool sparkly effect)...

Jessica said...

This is tricky. I guess I would shoot from a lower angle, making sure the sun was maybe slightly to the left or right in front of me, so that you get the sparkles but no lens flare. And then I'd get as close to the snow as possible, to capture as much fine detail as I could, to make sure that the subject of the photo is really the texture of the snow.

And maybe, I'd try to avoid the grass coming through the snow, or make sure that it's a purposeful design element.

Hope that helps. I love snow, don't get it very often here in San Francisco.

Ron a.k.a. Danudin said...

You know me Steve I hae always been weird, but I love the contrast and drama of this shot, my only worry was the Snow, are you sure it isn't granulated salt, put down for traction?? LOL

top5cats said...

I have been trying to catch the sparkles myself. The best I got was my shots of the snowflakes in macro, and they were really that sparklu, more crystally. I would love to know the answer too. Good luck.