Snow White is a popular name for purity. And yes, the snow that falls from the sky is pure and transforms the landscape into pure white landscapes. But, what color is the snow really? And how do we best catch him in pictures? We were in the south of Norway and brought some winter pictures, which we exposed with the Kodak Portra 160 new.
Incidentally, snow is not white at all, but in fact colorless. Because snow consists of countless individual crystals, in which the ambient light is scattered and reflected. Since no crystal is like the other, there is no specific direction of reflection. So we just take it as white and that’s nice, too.
By the way, this becomes clear in shadow areas. These are far from gray, as one might suspect. If you look closer, you can sometimes see a blue tone in it. If the sky is blue too. An example so more for the reflection of the snow crystals.
But how best to photograph snow? On the one hand, the automatic exposure control in snow-white areas initially recognizes a very bright environment, which requires a very short exposure time. In fact, it even complies with our logic. But that leads to frustrating underexposure and the snow-white snow suddenly turns gray. Remedy can be created by targeted overexposure of at least one panel. Or, if available, you choose a scene program, which does nothing but over-excise. I usually look for the determination of the exposure but usually neutral contrast points such as the sky without sun, a piece of wood or a parked vehicle.
Which shutter speeds are ideal? But snow is moving too. In the storm he is swirled around quickly, in particularly wet and thus heavy condition he falls quite fast, he weighs almost nothing and there is hardly any wind, then he floats to the ground. So, in his most beautiful way of getting down, he brings it down to a four-kilometer-per-hour rate. That’s about one meter per second. Here are some calculation examples for the following exposure times in relation to the path that the snowflakes put back when it comes to manually setting the time and aperture: 1/30 second – 4cm | 1/60 second – 2cm | 1/125 second – 8mm | 1/250 second – 4mm …
With which film in snow photograph? When it comes to color film, the Kodak Portra 160 has long been one of my favorites. As a portrait film, he avoids color casts and is quite reserved with its color characteristics. While the Kodak Ektar tends to be more warm-toned, I think the Kodak Portra 160 is the right choice. It reflects the cool of winter without pushing it.
Also wintery wood, bleached by sun and ice, is given a wonderful color to match the mood. The sky shines in the sunshine in its deep blue, while in diffused light conditions, the colors are clearly reduced, almost monochrome, are displayed.[nggallery id=16]