Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes

Getting the first shots in a snowy environment


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Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes

with Ben Long

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Video: Getting the first shots in a snowy environment

A long time ago I wrote I was writing a review of a camera for a computer magazine, and it was a brand of camera that I normally don't use, and so the interface was very different than what I was used to. And that's normal when you're writing reviews. But I was, I don't remember where I was, I was somewhere that I was used to shooting and I was really surprised because I was out walking around and I just, I wasn't in the zone. I just couldn't really find pictures, and I was trying to figure out, you know, was it just an off day or what? And then I realized now, it's that I was having to think enough about the camera.
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Watch the Online Video Course Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes
2h 27m Intermediate May 09, 2014

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Snow-covered landscapes introduce a variety of photographic opportunities and challenges. A blanket of brilliant white can do beautiful things with light, but it also complicates exposure. Crystal-blue winter skies are dramatic, but shooting in the cold can be cumbersome and hard on your gear.

In this course, photographer, author, and educator Ben Long takes a trip to Lake Tahoe to explore winter shooting at various times of the day. He also shows techniques for post-processing winter scenes to make them look their best.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Getting the first shots in a snowy environment

A long time ago I wrote I was writing a review of a camera for a computer magazine, and it was a brand of camera that I normally don't use, and so the interface was very different than what I was used to. And that's normal when you're writing reviews. But I was, I don't remember where I was, I was somewhere that I was used to shooting and I was really surprised because I was out walking around and I just, I wasn't in the zone. I just couldn't really find pictures, and I was trying to figure out, you know, was it just an off day or what? And then I realized now, it's that I was having to think enough about the camera.

Because it was just different enough from what I was used to, just like where's the aperture control, and how do I get a histogram? And even the moment by moment of shooting, was just enough keeping me in my head that I was ever getting into a zone of really seeing. And I'm feeling like I'm struggling with that now. And it's not because I don't know the camera. This is a camera that I've shot with a lot. It's that using the camera in these conditions is really hard. I don't have the manual dexterity that I'm used to, so a couple of things are happening. I'm really afraid I'm going to drop the camera into a snow bank somewhere.

So I'm moving very, very cautiously. Every time I stop and think I see a picture I, have to be careful that I'm hold, got a good grip on the camera, and as soon as that happens, I'm not thinking about the picture any more and I'm, I'm out of that zone. And then even while I'm shooting, I lift the camera up, first of all it's really cold. It's not going to, I can't see that well and that's distracting me. I'm trying to set settings displays in the LCD screen where I can see but, working me I, the aperture dial is confusing. We're finding the auto focus button, or the focus lock button is confusing.

All of that is taking me out of the moment. And what that means is I've got to really concentrate a lot harder. Concentration is hard enough when you're cold, and it's just hard enough when you're shooting. Trying to find the shots and so on and so forth. This was an obstacle I was not expecting. I was expecting to battle the elements just in a comfort level. I didn't think that they were actually going to impact the moment by moment of my shooting, in a creative way, or, or in a seeing way. And, so far, I don't really know what to do about that.

I just got to keep going and see if I can settle into, into some kind of zone. It's now snowing sideways, which is not helping either. Cause it's in your face, and so on, and so forth. So when you're in a harsh condition like this, you gotta be ready for that. Again, I'm use to hot conditions, but they normally don't impact my manipulation of the camera the way the cold is now. A couple of things, these gloves are so big and heavy and they're not keeping me that warm anyways. I'm, I might tonight look into a different glove solution. I've got some thinner gloves that can actually work the touch screen.

That was one reason I chose this camera. As I thought oh it's got a touch screen, that'll help with dexterity issues. I'm wondering if maybe I take those and some chemical hand warmers inside, maybe I could be warm enough. The time being, I just gotta keep going and see what I can figure out.

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