advice on falling snow focus

13 years 8 months ago #7020 by ozman1865
Hello all,

I was wanting to hear from some of you long time shooters about how to get good focus on falling snow. I would love to be able to catch some good winter photos this year and today was our first snow and I was struggling on catching the snowfall. I guess my question is what is best to use for the focus and what depth should I be shooting to catch the good snowfall shots. I dont think I will have much of an issue with static snow once it has fallen but would love to be able to catch action shots with the falling snow or scene shots with the falling snow. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. show me the magic. LOL look forward to hearing from you all

Jeff


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13 years 8 months ago #7223 by KVRNut
I usually try and get a darker background to contrast the falling snow better. Depending on light and weather, I'll use f./8 to f./16 with a 28-200mm zoom. Because I use film, my ISO is 200 for a heavily clouded day but if I can get away with ISO 100, I'll do it. I try for a long shot as it can make the snowfall seem heavier. Focus depnds on where I'm at and the conditions I'm in.


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13 years 8 months ago #7237 by waynescook
Jeff, it is a great question. My thoughts: The dark background is a great idea. I usually shoot in aperture priority, so I would try for a maximum DOF using at least f/16 and preferably higher; but you also need a somewhat fast shutter speed, so I'd experiment with the exposure too - I’m guessing +2/3 on a cloudy day to -1.5 if its snowing with the sun out (rare but it could be beautiful!). I don't have a lot of experience with such a shot, but I do like to experiment.

Some day I'd like to learn how to shoot manually; I hear you can learn quite a lot!

WCBIRDSNLANDSC


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13 years 8 months ago #7242 by ozman1865
Thank you so much for the heads up on different possibilities now I will have to wait for the next snow so I can try them out. We here in Kansas arent known for our great snowfalls so guess I will need to be a quick learner and see if I can make your suggestions work. I will post some of the attempts once I get that chance. thanks again Wayne and Kvr most appreciated information


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13 years 8 months ago #7373 by Monti Leehsu

ozman1865 wrote: Thank you so much for the heads up on different possibilities now I will have to wait for the next snow so I can try them out. We here in Kansas arent known for our great snowfalls so guess I will need to be a quick learner and see if I can make your suggestions work. I will post some of the attempts once I get that chance. thanks again Wayne and Kvr most appreciated information


Be sure to post your photos up afterward s. I would like to see how you make out.


Photo Comments
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13 years 8 months ago #7389 by Screamin Scott
Falling snow can be captured many different ways. Do you want to stop the flakes in mid air? Or would you want them to appear as streaks?..It's really going to come down to the amount of ambient light you have in your scene.Better to have too much light as opposed to not enough. I rarely shoot in any of the modes other than manual as manual gives you the most control over the final outcome. Of course it makes you think more about what you want to capture & as such, action shots need to be prepared for in advance (in terms of settings & composition), but in the end, it's the light that makes it possible to get what you want. Faster shutter speeds will stop the flakes in mid air, but may also force you to use a flash or else open up the aperture resulting in decreased depth of fiend. Slower shutter speeds will give the blurring effect, but you may not be able to stop down enough to reach a slow enough shutter speed to accomplish this without using ND filters...Each scene is different & there is no "stock" answer as to which settings to use due to different ambient light situations.

Scott Ditzel Photography

www.flickr.com/photos/screaminscott/

Photo Comments
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13 years 8 months ago #7394 by PBowling
Do you manual focus? If not turn off your AF and switch to manual. Look at your DOF indicator on your lens and you'll get a sense of the amount of DOF you have if you have say 9 feet, meters, cm etc then remember that when you're focusing on 1/3 of the DOF will be in front of the object and 2/3 behind the object. So with a 9 "whatever" dof you would want to really focus at about focus about 3 feet to get the closer snowflakes in focus (focus would be basically from your lens to 9) If you predictive focus your manual settings and working in conjunction with your exposure settings you should be able to get a good shot of snowflakes stopped in mid-air and in focus. Remember too that mostly bright or mostly dark subjects can fool your built in exposure meters since it's metering the background and not your subject so make the adjustments to compensate.


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13 years 7 months ago #7400 by ozman1865
Great posts Scott and PBowling, I have several ideas now to play with in my hunt for the ability to shot falling snow. Both of your posts have given me a very larger insight into what I need to do. PB I understand about trying to get things to stop as I had to work through that problem with my sports activities shooting and to explain a bit about the DOF and how to adjust for that means alot. now to just get the snow flying here in Kansas again so I can work on getting this worked out so I dont have to struggle with it like I have been Thanks to all who have taken time to comment on my question. I promise as soon as I can attempt to get the photos I will get them posted thanks again

Jeff


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