Yosemite - Tunnel View - Panoramic (GP1)

Capturing Snow and Clouds (and Other White Things)

January 30, 2014 / by

White is a burden for your camera’s meter, which wants to present that as gray. The results are dingy looking snow and clouds. With a little know-how, we can compensate for that. In this article, we discuss the cause (your camera isn’t broken) and outline a few options that you have to efficiently correct for the white-to-gray shift in your photography.


Metering Off Colors

March 10, 2010 / by

We’ve talked about metering off of a blue sky and a cloudy sky.  But we can meter off of nearly everything.  You just have to be aware of how your camera sees color.  Cameras can record color, but when it comes to its in-camera meter, it only sees in shades of gray. Ideally, your camera wants to meter off of a middle-ground element.  The ideal shade to meter off of would be 18% gray.  If you have a gray card or something gray, you can of course meter off of that.  But you may not have such tools handy.  In that case, you can meter off of dependable colors.  Here’s some rough rules of thumb for you based on my own experiences): Blue – look for shades that would match a blue sky.  You can meter off of a sky blue shade of blue without making much adjustment.  If you’re metering off of something darker like royal blue, meter as if you were under-exposing by about a full stop. Green – green is a great resource for metering.  If you meter off of green grass or the leaves of a tree (usually darker than an 18% value), you’ll want to […]


Cloudy Sky Metering Tip

March 09, 2010 / by

Earlier in the week, we spoke about metering off of a sunny blue sky.  But what about when it’s a cloudy sky?  You can meter off of a cloudy sky too.  There’s only one catch – spot and center weighted metering is going to make your life miserable.  So you’ll need to meter with matrix or evaluative metering.  Otherwise, you can meter just like you did with a sunny blue sky. So lets go through the steps again with our little tweak for cloudy skies: Flip to Manual Mode – don’t be afraid, it’s painless. Manual mode is necessary so that your camera won’t try to alter the meter between shots. You’ll set it and forget it until you want a different aperture or enough time has passed that the light has changed. Set Metering Mode – you should be using matrix or evaluative metering.  Spot metering and center-weighted metering just will not work for cloudy skies. Set the Aperture – pick an aperture that is ideal for your subject. Be aware that if you want to change your aperture, you’ll need to adjust your settings: Just return to this step. Point to the Sky – point your camera to […]

"Thin Ice" by D. Travis North

Sunny Day Metering Tip

March 08, 2010 / by

On a bright sunny day with lots of contrast in light, it’s sometimes hard to find the ideal metering method. That is, until you discover this handy trick. Read on to learn a sunny day metering tip.