View Full Version : I'm confused .. clarification needed please.

14-05-2016, 10:39am
Want to get to see snow for the 1st time and have been watching tutorials about settings. Some very conflicting opinions out there. One that did sound good was by some dude called Bryan Peterson. He suggests using the Sunny 16 rule.

Understood what he said but it was not specific for F stop ISO and Shutter.
he says that shooting with the sun behind you shoot at...
F/16 ISO 200 & Shutter 200 OR
F/11 ISO 400 OR
F/8 ISO 800 OR
F 5.6 ISO 1600..should give you similar results. I understand that but he forgot to mention the shutter speed for each setting.
My question is, does shutter speed stay at 200 for each setting or does shutter speed increase to be the same as SIO for each setting?

He mentioned these setting work best for either front or side lit shots (sun to your back or side of you).
anyone give advice on that please.
Also how would that rule change if there was no sun and it was cloudy and grey instead?
Thanks guys

John King
14-05-2016, 5:36pm
Gidday Angelo

Regardless of the exposure parameters for any given scene, be careful of the WB when photographing snow. The WB settings of most (or all ... ) cameras tend to interpret the white of the snow as middle grey (18% grey), making a mess of the WB for the whole image.

Mark L
14-05-2016, 7:28pm
Take a few photos and test how the exposure looks, you may need to lower exposure compensation.

Sunny 16 is covered here (who'd have thought to look there :)) http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showlibrary.php?title=New_To_Photography:Sunny_16_and_exposure_guides

15-05-2016, 1:06am
With questions like this it really helps to see what gear you are planning to use. I just checked your profile and see you have a Sony A7s. Although I know next to squat about Sony I will guess and say like any modern camera they have a built in metering system (in fact i am sure they do).

The modern camera meters a scene as if it is 18% grey - so if you have a predominately white back ground your camera is going to treat this as 18% grey and adjust the exposure accordingly. This is where you need to use exposure compensation to adjust the metering - in the snow you need to add a little more exposure and if you shooting in raw one stop should be enough. I have heard the Sony A7 series have excellent dynamic range so you are not in too much danger if you shoot and process raw images.

The meter in your camera will take into account if it is sunny, cloudy, whether the sun is high noon or whether it is setting behind you.

If you are shooting people against a snow back ground you might want to add a little fill flash so as not to under expose your subjects.

Hope this helps.

15-05-2016, 8:05am
Two things:

I agree with Brian, in the way you'd go about using the camera. Set the camera to matrix metering +1Ev exposure compensation when you're shooting in the snowy conditions.
Just remember to adjust that setting if you change scene and not shooting in the snow!(eg. shooting inside a building or something).

Personally, I'd be 101% sure I had a CPL to use if it got sunny in snowy conditions.
Snow under sunny lighting is highly reflective and bright, and you may need closer to +2Ev compensation to counter for that.

You have the S16 rule backwards
If you were setting at f/16 ISO200 and 1/200s and wanted to use f/11 instead, then ISO sensitivity must reduce and/or shutter must speed up!

So f/11 could be:

ISO100 at 1/200s or ISO200 and 1/400s.

If you set camera to f/11 and ISO400 (by comparison to f/16 with ISO200 and 1/200s) then shutter speed for the same exposure would need to be 1/800s!

1/200s -> 1/400s increase for the f/16->f/11 adjustment, and then from 1/400s->1/800s for the increase from ISO200->ISO400

Personally, I wouldn't worry about sunny16 when shooting with a digital camera!
You're camera will have a fairly accurate light meter calibrated by the manufacturer to work well for your camera's sensor.
The trick is to gain enough experience with the camera, understand how it measures the light for any given circumstances and with any individual lens, and start worrying less about metering and exposure, and more about just enjoying the moments and content in in the images you're trying to capture.

I wouldn't worry too much about WB setting tho. If you're smart, you'd want to be be shooting in raw format anyhow. WB in raw shooting is an irrelevant setting to concern about.
Only later on in your raw editing software do you then worry about WB. On the raw file in your editor, you then simply use the click to a grey point tool or use a specific temp/tint combination.

FWIW: on the very few occasions when I've shot in snow, they've always been in totally overcast situations. Camera is basically glued to the AWB setting, and so on the raw files I noted that in those same cloudy snowy situations that cloudy(6500K) WB setting seems to look the most natural. With a bit of tweaking and fiddling, you could go anywhere between 6000K and 6500K and not really see all that much difference(unless directly comparing side by side).

15-05-2016, 3:16pm
Thanks Heaps guys. Makes sense.
yes I always shoot raw.