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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:37 PM   #1
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White Snow.

Hi all, by now all UK members will know that we are having a LOT of snow, My question is how can achieve nice white snow in my films (XL2) instead of horrible grey snow..........Many Thanks Pete.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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Is it really gray or does it have a color cast to it?

Are you using auto WB or manual?
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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Best is to use manual exposure and adjust as lighting conditions change. Auto exposure (e.g., green box mode) will turn a mainly white snow scene into average gray.

If you need auto exposure, try using AE Shift to to brighten the scene.

But then in some heavy industrial smoke stack communities all snow is gray.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:03 AM   #4
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Set your zebra to 100%, set aperture low enough to get (some) zebra on the snow, but be sure not to overexpose your subject. (Shutter should be 1/50 and gain 0)
Make sure you white balance is set correctly. (Otherwise your snow will have a colorcast.)

If the snow is your subject: it is easy to overexpose it all, but then you'll get a white frame.
Make sure the highlights are white and the rest close to white.
In post you could use curves to make the snow lighter without loosing all details in it.

Good luck!
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:56 AM   #5
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Hi Peter,

Set your zebra to 100% and just allow a tiny portion or none to be zebra striped. Make sure your white balance is set properly so you do not get an excessive blue cast. Watch out for hyper contrast situations where you have dark trees or shadows in which you need detail.

Finally if you are trying to film it actually snowing, and want to have the flakes show up rather than be streaks, push your shutter speed up a notch to 1/100th of a second. If your subject is in a wind eddy, the flakes will sometimes swirl up and almost stop. I found it best to focus about 2 to 5 m away from the camera to really catch the feel of snow falling. For a truly blizzardy effect (assuming you do have a bit of blizzard going) zoom to a fairly tight tele shot from a distance so there is a lot of snow falling between you and the subject.

Good luck!

Alan
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