The first snow of the season has arrived in the Harrisburg, PA area. It’s a beautiful time to go out and grab a few pictures but there is something you should know. Most cameras will underexpose that snowy scene. This may leave you to wonder why that gorgeous view in front of you looks grey and dingy on the screen of your digital camera. This comes from your cameras meter trying to average out the scene.
The bright white of the snow causes confusion. The inner workings tell the camera the scene is to bright and exposes it to what it thinks the proper level should be. The camera assumes the world should be 18% grey (why 18%? That’s what the average light reflectance is – though some disagree and say it may be as low as 12%) . When it sees the bright white snow it thinks “this scene is to bright” and adjusts.
You don’t need a complex SLR camera to adjust your exposure, you just need to look through the manual (that book you left in the box while you went out and played with the camera) to see how to adjust your exposure compensation. Experiment with adjusting the exposure compensation, opening it up to allow more light in for brighter and better pictures.
‘Til next time