Snow and White Balance

We had fresh snow in the early hours. It was overcast when I went outside in the morning to capture some photos. I put some new equipment to a test:  a Lastolite white balance card to enable use the “custom white balance” option on the camera.  Also,  I also added a HOYA circular polarizing filter ontop of the UV filter at the end of my lens. Although the filter allowed more saturated color, overall, the results seemed dark.

The images, once loaded onto the computer and further into Photoshop, appeared to need tweaking.  In the series of photos, histograms were empty on the right hand-side, where the right triangle hangs out on the levels. This was confusing to me. That’s the area supposedly where things are on the light end of the spectrum. If I had too much white, the balance of the histograms should have been on that right-hand-side. So I trudge on,  trying to learn more about shooting subjects with white colors. What I recall reading is that too much white will ruin the highlights; making them look burned out and overexposed. Is my understanding correct? I suppose I could give a call to Herbie ( since he is a master of B/W, and he may be able to set me strait.

In a few days we plan an adventure to White Sands National Park, where the sand is comprised of gypsum = pure white. I want my photos to have the color/white balance levels done well. I have read many professionals warnings that light metering in fields of white will pose a major challenge: one has to make manual compensations in stops and or exposure levels because of the light values range so drastically.

Practice, practice, practice.

BerriesUneditedBerriesedited  IMG_0457-unedited IMG_0457-editedIMG_0369 IMG_0441  IMG_0445 BirdsonAgave-Cropped BenchuneditedBench-edited

3 responses to “Snow and White Balance

  1. It took me a few looks to notice the little birdies! I’m confused, did you edit the photos on the right side in PS? Or, did you use a different setting to take?


    • The birdies actually camouflage themselves well, don’t they? Look at how they sit on the agave in the places where their feathers match!


  2. The photos on right side (when there is a duplicate) were corrected, as in lightened up, using PShop. I have read that more saturation on an image is easier to correct in PS, while underexposed images will lack the details you can’t tease out in post editing. That’s why I kept the polarizer filter on the camera lens. The fewer times you remove a filter or lens, the fewer the chances for scratches/dust to work their way in.


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