Envisage & take Snow Photo’s that Sell.. | Tutorial Freak – Online Tutorials

Envisage & take Snow Photo’s that Sell..

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Take pictures of snow that sell: plan your snow photography from field to computer

Just because it’s bitterly cold outside there’s no need to hang up your DSLR until the spring. Admittedly it’s hard to be enthusiastic about heading out to take pictures of snow when the temperature dips below zero, especially when you know you’re going to be standing still for long periods of time. But the visual delights of beautiful frost-covered landscapes and snow photography are sure to make your efforts worthwhile – in fact, you might find that you’re inspired to take your best shots yet.

Plan your snow photography from field to computer. You may have to work harder to nail a great shot when the weather is bad, but the opportunities are there if you look hard enough. We spied this shot while driving though a snowstorm on a trip to Poland.

We noticed the lone tree and track marks set against the blanket of white snow and knew we had all the ingredients for a great-looking fine-art print.

We ‘pre-visualised’ this scene as a black-and-white image and set about realising that vision. The minimal elements in the photo composition – the lone tree, the muddy track and the horizon line – worked well together, adding to the artistic look.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to capture images that will look great as a print ready to go on your wall or to make a fantastic Christmas gift.

We’ll also show you how to add a black border and a digital signature so that your pictures looks professional and is ready for framing. So let’s get started…

01 Be prepared

It might sound obvious, but wrap up warm. Scarf, fleece, heavy-duty coat and thermal underwear are all essential items for intrepid winter photographers. Plan the shot before leaving the warm comfort of your car. You can’t afford to walk around in bad weather – your gear might get damaged and you’ll soon get cold.

02 Shoot in raw

Shoot raw format files, especially in challenging situations such as snow photography where exposure and white balance can be tricky. While 
it’s good to get your shot spot-on first time, raw processing can be useful when making adjustments to your pictures of snow post-shoot.

03 Plan your shot

Even when the odds seem stacked against you there are always shots to be found, although you might have to look a little harder for them. When we noticed this scene while driving through the Polish countryside, we visualised how the final image would look and then set about making it happen.

04 Frame pictures of snow carefully

There are very few elements in this scene. The lone tree is the main and only subject. As a result the framing is critical. We positioned the tree to the lower left-hand side of the frame – one-third in from the left-hand side and intersecting with the horizon, which we positioned one third up from the bottom edge.

05 Use Exposure Compensation

To get a good white tone when taking pictures of snow you’ll need to adjust your camera’s Exposure Compensation. Left to its own devices your digital camera will make any snow photography appear a midtone grey. We effectively increased exposure to maintain detail in the snow.

06 Use the histogram

Reading your histogram graph offers a great way to access the tones of your pictures of snow. However, don’t be surprised if the graph looks clumped to the right. This is caused by the white snow and Exposure Compensation increase.

There’s a fine line between making your snow photography just white enough and losing detail in the light areas, so be careful not to over-expose beyond the point where the white ‘clips’ off the edge of the graph.

Edit your pictures of snow in Photoshop or Elements..

Photoshop Elements..

01 Process in Camera Raw

Open your start image. Using Camera Raw, move the Exposure slider to +.75 and the Shadow slider to +25. Make sure the Depth is set to 8 Bits/Channel and then click Open.

02 Crop your shot

In Photoshop Elements, select the Crop tool and in the menu bar type in the dimensions of the print: width (16 inches), height (12 inches) and pixels per inch (300). Make a crop that eliminates the lens vignetting and removes the trees on the right-hand side.

03 Clone the snowflakes

Zoom into the tree. The snowflakes in the foreground look like out-of-focus blobs. Select the Clone Stamp from the Tools palette, sample from a similar area and then clone out the offending flakes.

04 Convert to mono

Go to Enhance>ConvertToBlackAndWhite. In the window you’ll see several options, but the Levels adjustment is best for ultimate control. This will help make the snow-white, without losing essential detail.

05 Lighten up

Select Enhance>AdjustLighting>Levels. Pull the white slider slightly to the left to make the light grey even whiter, but be careful not to go over the top. Hold down the Ctrl key while moving the slider and the clipping indicator will help you to avoid any clangers.

06 Add an artistic effect

Go to Layer>DuplicateLayer and then Filter>Blur>GaussianBlur and type in 40. Change the Layer Blending Mode to Soft Light. Move the Opacity slider until you like the effect, then go to Layer>FlattenImage.

07 Now for the border

To add a border, first ensure that the background colour is set to black using the icon at the bottom of the Tools palette. Now go to Image>Resize>Canvas. In the window that appears, add .05 inches to the image dimensions. Click OK and a thin black border will appear around your image.

08 Frame your shot

Next it’s time to make your image ‘float’ within a white border to add a professional finish. Simply repeat step 7, but ensure that the background colour is changed to white. Use the ‘X’ key as a shortcut to swap the foreground and background colours.

09 Your autograph, please

To add your signature, write it by hand onto paper and scan then it onto your computer. In Photoshop, make the signature black and white, ensuring there are no midtones, and then Copy and Paste it into your image. Change your signature’s shape by grabbing the corners and reducing its size.

10 The final touch

Place the signature in the bottom-right-hand corner and change the Layer Blending Mode to Multiply to remove the white background. Finally, flatten your image (Layer>FlattenImage) and make any final tweaks to the tones using the Levels window.

You will have more control in Photoshop but we used Elements because not everyone can afford or even need Photoshop..

KeithM..

Pro Photographer, WebMaster & Writer.. Please follow us on Facebook

KeithM.. – who has written posts on Tutorial Freak – Online Tutorials.


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