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Old December 6th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #1
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Shooting in snow

I'm going to shoot skiers in snow with the 110u, probably in decent sun. Would appreciate any setup suggestions or tips? Could shoot high def. or standard. Stock lens.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chuck Anschutz View Post
I'm going to shoot skiers in snow with the 110u, probably in decent sun. Would appreciate any setup suggestions or tips? Could shoot high def. or standard. Stock lens.
Go to your local camera store get:

1. 18% grey card $5
2. white card (if you don't already have one) $5
3. Plan on a a neutral density filter as well. Either a screw in type decent glass or even a Cokin setup with square drop in filters.

The built in meter will be thrown off by the snow and the image will be underxposed.. so go to manual, frame your image.. stick the 18% grey card in front of the lens in full sunlight, but not glaring, and set your exposure off of that. That way the snow will be white instead of grey. The neutral density is so that with all the reflected sunlight you might be able to open up the aperature to 5f or wider with the built in ND on max. Otherwise you will be at f16 so that stock lens won't have the left and right 20% going soft. Lens is OK around f4 or so. Oh, and of course shoow 24p HD. Makes nice downconverted SD DVD or HD for the future.. I'm finding little reason to shoot 30p anymore for the SD DVD reason.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #3
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Another quick option is to set your zebras to 95% and open up until you start to see them on some of the snow. Note: this is ONLY if your subject is in the exact same light as the snow.

I shot a short this past weekend in the snow and did tests beforehand. There was cloud cover for me but I bracketed the shot based on how many zebras were present. The best exposure (on a face) was with a few levels reaching 95%. Another good bet is to use a light meter and run some tests with that.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 12:49 AM   #4
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re

Was surprised to see that there wasn't more basic info on shooting in the snow in the forums (unless of course I missed the thread). Here's some basic questions I wondered about.

1. Can you white balance off the snow (fresh powder in the exact light you'll be filming in?

2. When shooting with a camera like the V1U which has the ND filters settings (ND 1 and ND 2), is this similar, better, or worse than having a standard low level ND filter that screws on to the lens?

3. Any basic camera proofing suggested for shooting in a snow storm?

Hope this help sparks a discussion from those wiser than me. I'm going to be doing quite a bit of shooting in snow next week, and though I've shot several tests in preparation, I'd love to hear more on the subject.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 04:47 AM   #5
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Yes, you can white balance of the snow.

The on camera ND is okay but not as good as a glass filter mounted in a matte-box - you get what you pay for!

If the sun is out when you are shooting in snow, you're going to have heavy contrast, so light accordingly. Also, set the camera to a black stretch of 3 or use Tim's wide-latitude set-up.

I'd go with Zebras at 100%, so I'll always know when I'm blowing the exposure.

Hope that helps,

Liam.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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With the on-board ND filters you will have to close down the iris too much in snow. You'll need an extra ND filter to be able to use the standard 16X lens at it's sweet spot between F4-F5.6.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Would a polariser filter help?
I used one a while back one 'recently rained on' white concrete (that's the nearest we get to snow in England these days unfortunately!).
I have a 82mm Formatte screw in (rotating) which worked well on the reflections (and for luscious blue skies if perpendicular to the sun).
I also use this as an extra ND filter given my lack of a dedicated glass filter.
Good luck - be sure to post the results!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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re:

Good feedback. I'll be sure to show include footage when I get back in a week or so.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #9
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re:

By the way, what do you folks think about using an onboard light (like a little wedding reception cameralight toned down to 50 watts or something) to get that extra lighting on human subjects (i.e. interviews in the snow)?
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:25 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Liam Hall;834500]Yes, you can white balance of the snow.[QUOTE]


as far as white balancing on snow, its generally frowned upon because its not actualy white, your eye just sees it as white. you should always just carry a piece of white paper with you to make sure you camera knows what white actually looks like.

that being said, you can get away with it, and having the 110, you are lucky enough to be able to see what your colors look like, as well as what the color temp is, so watch the temp closely, you dont want to be much over 5600k.

as far as interviews outside, if you have some help, a flexfill is an amazing thing on a sunny day. check those out, personally I love the warm look of the gold reflectors, but you can get many different kinds. you are gonna have a really hard time competeing with the sun using an on camera light, so you might as well try and use the sun as much as you can (just dont blind those you are interviewing)
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:11 PM   #11
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yes you can white balance off of snow, I do it all the time. the shadow areas of snow will be blue, 8K blue. 5600K is average daylight, but if lit on the north side ( northern hemisphere ) its easy to get to 8000K. trust the camera, it will do ok. I've spent a lot of time shooting outside this winter not just in snow, but in a snow storms.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:25 PM   #12
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yes you can white balance off of snow, I do it all the time. the shadow areas of snow will be blue, 8K blue. 5600K is average daylight, but if lit on the north side ( northern hemisphere ) its easy to get to 8000K. trust the camera, it will do ok. I've spent a lot of time shooting outside this winter not just in snow, but in a snow storms.


maybe I am confused, but shooting outdoors in daylight is "average daylight" so going much over 5600k is going to ruin a lot of skin tones. why would you want to run the risk of having poorly color balanced video?
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 11:54 PM   #13
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not so. 5600k is "average" but not always the best. if you shoot a subject lit by northern light its 8000K. if you have a WB point of 5600k, it will be too warm. shadows will go blue. no risk in ruining skin tones, in fact just the opposite. you risk have excessively warm / reddish skin tones and cold shadows. the camera will often sometimes go to 6500K too. not all daylight is 5600k, thats average. at sunset the WB point can really swing quite a bit from 6500K to 3200k depending on direct light at 3200k to after sunset magic hour at 6500ish because there is no direct light. never assume WB outside is 5600k except maybe noon on a summer day. it can vary quite a bit. cloudy days are another time WB can easily be 6500k
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Old March 4th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #14
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maybe I am confused,
Yes you are:)
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #15
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well, I will go out and buy myself a big ol' piece of humble pie today.

I tried white balancing off of snow with the hd100, got a 5200k. not too bad.


I have been shooting news for 8 years, and the majority of it in alaska (which is 90% winter) my chief photog always told me to NEVER white balance off of snow, I have seen footage where it comes out terrible. so thats where I am coming from.

I am still gonna disagree with the 8000k, if I saw that come up on my camera I would think something was wrong. I can swing with 6500k, maybe even 7k, but 8k seems a little hairball. could be wrong again, but those are the guidelines I went with while shooting for my station, and the guys that taught me are some of the best in the business.

anyway, we are getting off track. have fun shooting some skiing, enjoy the sun, back in ak, if you got sun while you were skiing, you were considered blessed.
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