Upstate NY: Winter Snow and Photo Editing

After a winter of very little snow, I was up in the Adirondacks for the holidays and they had snow already on the ground!. So I grabbed the camera and went to take advantage of shooting in a setting I don’t get to shoot in that often (namely the snow, not the mountains). The first thing that I notice, on both my own and on other people’s photos, is that snow reflects as blue instead of grey. We will start this idea with a picture that has not gone through the digital developer at all:

This has absolutely no saturation play on it, but you can still see how the snow tries to be blue in it's shadows instead of grey. Very interesting thing to play with.

This has absolutely no saturation play on it, but you can still see how the snow tries to be blue in it’s shadows instead of grey. Very interesting thing to play with.

I do not own photoshop or lightbox. I am saving up for one or the other or both (right now lightbox is sooooo much more affordable so that’s probably what I will get soon). Right now I have Digital Photo Professional which came with my Canon Rebel XS. It lets me do very minor changes to the entire picture, but no specific changes. Mostly I adjust the sharpness, the contrast, and the color saturation as I would with a developer. Recently I started shooting in RAW format instead of RGB which lets me clean the images up in a much better and subtle way.

If you add any saturation at all to snow it makes it either blue or purple, I went more with the blue since it looks less cartoonish.

If you add any saturation at all to snow it makes it either blue or purple, I went more with the blue since it looks less cartoonish.

Ice crystals everywhere. It's like a chandelier fell into the creek.

Ice crystals everywhere. It’s like a chandelier fell into the creek.

Close up on the branch reveals that the entire branch is covered in ice from the creek running over it.

Close up on the branch reveals that the entire branch is covered in ice from the creek running over it.

The blue reflections of the creek and sky off the snow almost make this monochromatic.

The blue reflections of the creek and sky off the snow almost make this monochromatic.

Another nice developing trick is that I can turn a color photo into a b&w photo.

Looking through trees at a barn.

Looking through trees at a barn.

Changing to b&w gives it a feel of Americana and that it could be an older photo, but it's not.

Changing to b&w gives it a feel of Americana and that it could be an older photo, but it’s not.

It also works in the other direction, where I can bring the colors out even more from the original image to make it stand out more:

A more naturalist look which is nice, but doesn't pop that much.

A more naturalist look which is nice, but doesn’t pop that much.

I upped the saturation a ton in digital development which makes it pop a lot more and almost reminds me of Ian Brodie's photos.

I upped the saturation a ton in digital development which makes it pop a lot more and almost reminds me of Ian Brodie’s photos.

I also used a graduated filter for the first time on a few shots. For anyone who doesn’t know, a graduated filter is a filter that is colored on one half but blends down to no color on the other half. You can view an example of one here. I think I got a really good result with this one shot since it helps get rid of the white sky effect I get while out a lot:

Used a graduated filter so that the foreground would not be in silhouette.

Used a graduated filter so that the foreground would not be in silhouette.

I’m hoping that we get a lot more snow in the city this year so I can go out to the park and get some nice shots.

Next up: New Orleans – The Benachi House.

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About nsantasier

I am an actor, fight choreographer, playwright, and photographer based in and around NYC. I shoot on a Canon Rebel XS with either a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens or a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom lens as they are the only lenses I currently own.
This entry was posted in Adirondacks, Hiking, lake, nature, Park, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

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