Friday, January 14, 2011

The Challenges of Snow

Digital cameras have light meters that interpret color as different shades of gray, hence snow scenes as well as beach scenes that are dominated by white usually come out looking quite dark and dingy. Some digital cameras have settings for snow and beach scenes, and you should use these when the occasion warrants. Others allow you to set exposure compensation or white balance – you’ll need to over-expose snow and beach scenes to get the color right.

I often use my high end point and shoot Nikon when I’m snow shoeing or hiking, and it does not have any of the above features. So this is where your photo enhancement software comes in. In the three above pictures I used Microsoft Office Picture Manager which comes free with Windows computers. I’ve shown the original picture as interpreted by my camera (bottom), then I used the auto correct command to get the tone of the snow correct (middle), and then I used the enhance color command to brighten up and saturate it a bit (top). Most photos need this kind of treatment unless you have a high end SLR and understand how to use its complex settings to your advantage.

Above is the PhotoShop version, using some auto controls as as well as the "vibrance" and "saturate" commands. You can get Photoshop for $30 at Follett, but your computer needs to be fairly robust to handle it. You can see though why I like Photoshop.


At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Tennille Merkle said...

I would LOVE to get a more recent version of Photoshop, mine is circa 2000. I can't find it on the bookstore website, is it an unadvertised special I need to visit the campus bookstore to buy?

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Worth Weller said...

yeah - you have to purchase it at Follet, and then you go to to unlock it. They'll explain this to you. It only costs $30!!!

It's a memory hog!!


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