The kids and I were out in a foot of fresh powdery snow most of yesterday. We were up in the Arroyo Hondo valley north of Taos New Mexico on the north edge of the Colombine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area. We built a snow tunnel, followed animal tracks and built a little fire to warm up on and off. During the breaks I was out working over some black and white shots. The lighting as the storm moved in and out and the snow fell in sporadic episodes and made for new opportunities at every turn.
In New Mexico, our high desert winter skies are blue – and yet somehow stark. The contrast is very high and snow
covered trees and rock outcroppings come off pretty eerie in a way. This is just a personal choice but I really don’t always like the white against blue contrast and so I’m finding that I increasingly prefer to shoot winter scenes in black and white and dive into the art photography. At least when it comes to landscape shots.
Photographing snowy scenes is a little tough. Snow reflects any sunlight you might have and so it messes with the white balance and exposure in the camera and so you can often end up with a bluish tint or a blinding light blowout that kills the image. To get rid of the blue-ish tint I tend to overexpose just a bit.
When the snow is blinding or if I’m trying to capture some details like leaves, animals tracks and the likes I dial back the exposure a step or two in order to grab the details.
I’m still working on it.