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Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009
How to take better pictures of the snow this winter
Long Meg in the mist

It's snowing, the light looks lovely and you've got loads of great pictures on your camera ... you think!

But when you come to look back at all those wonderful images of snow on the fells and the lakes, it's all a little bit grey.

So now you have to spend a lot of time making them look like they did when you took the picture.

Here we tell you how to get your snow pictures right first time, and make them pop out of the page.

So why are my snow pictures dark?

This is due to the way cameras meter the light.

The light meter in the camera expects the overall tone of a picture to be an average 18% grey; but a lot of "white" or in this case, snow fools the camera into making the picture darker than it really is.

There are a few ways to get around this, depending on your camera.

You can either set your camera to "snow scene" mode, if it has one; designed for taking pictures when there's lots of snow about.

Some cameras let you change the exposure value (EV) of the photo, in snow it needs to be increased by a value of 1.0 to 2.5 depending on how bright it is.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
What difference the camera settings make.
The upper image was taken with the camera on an auto setting, the lower image had +1.3EV applied and white balance set to "daylight".

If you are manually setting the shutter speed and aperture on the camera, you need to either, open the aperture by one or two stops i.e. from f5.6 to f3.5 , or similarly decrease the shutter speed, i.e. from 1/125s to 1/30s (or a combination of the two).

Why are my pictures very blue?

This is caused by a function of the camera's "auto white balance" this is how the camera decides how white the colour white should be!

A combination of the snow and time of day cause the camera to alter the white point and make the image too blue.

To get around this you need to fix the camera's white balance to "daylight" - usually found in one of the function menus. This locks the "colour of white" in the camera and prevents the image from ending up too blue (this is also how to get sunset images looking really fiery too).

Do more

Always remember if you've got a digital camera, you can check the photo once you have taken it, and try again if you're not happy with the results.

Once you're satisfied with what you've shot, you need to share your results with the world. There are may photo-sharing sites that are free to use, such as Flickr or Picasa. Or you could send your images to us at BBC Cumbria.




SEE ALSO
In Pictures: Winter in Cumbria
23 Dec 09 |  People & Places
Getting the most from your camera
29 Jan 10 |  Arts & Culture
Add your images to the galleries
29 Jan 10 |  People & Places
Cumbria viewed through a lens
11 May 10 |  Nature & Outdoors


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