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Snowman photography advice

You've built your snowman now take the photographs!

|  General Photography
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Snowman long shot
With snow still covering most of the UK, building snowmen is proving to be a popular activity, even with the ePz staff! After you've spent hours shovelling snow and finding the perfect twigs for arms, you don't want your snowman to melt away with no record of your hard work, you want to get your camera out and start snapping those snowmen shots.

You may be thinking why would you want to photograph a snowman? Well, they can make great Christmas card images, they're good for stock photos and of course you can capture some great family images.

Having your camera out from the start means you can capture both the building process as well as the finished snowman. But if you do this, remember camera's aren't great fans of the cold and wet. Lenses need time to acclimatise, batteries don't last as long and if you're planning on joining in the building activities, having your camera hung around your neck means it can get wet and damaged so having something to store it in is also recommended. Having a lens cloth to hand, or some lint free paper, will also be useful for wiping snow off the lens.

When it comes to photographing the snowman, taking shots straight on is a common way but why not try going higher or lower, closer to focus on detail or even wider to get some of the landscape detail in too. Also, by taking a variety of shots, you'll have more options for stock imagery.

Snowman's photoshoot on ePHOTOzine 
Not all your images have to be taken straight on.
Snowman and a person makes a great portrait 
People can add humour and life to an image.
Snowman photography advice
Try taking a photograph from a higher angle.
Snowman head shot 
If you're shooting for stock, take a variety of shots.
 Closeup shot of the snowman
Getting in close means you can pick out detail and really focus on particular areas of the photograph.

When you're setting up to take your shot, setting the right exposure is vital because if you don't, you'll end up with grey looking snow. Basically, snow will make the ground bright and to the camera, it just looks like a lot of reflected light. The amount of light confuses the camera and as a result, it produces an image that appears underexposed. To prevent this you can manually control the camera and overexpose the scene or some cameras have scene modes and one of these is often snow which can adjust the exposure of the scene for you. You can also adjust the images on the computer but it's always best to try and get it right in camera.

Depending on the time of day and how much light's around, your images could appear blue. To counteract this you should adjust your white balance accordingly or you could shoot in RAW and adjust the images in post processing.

To remove the blue cast in post-production you can use curves to a degree (this also works when adjusting the exposure) or you can open the image in software such as Adobe Camera Raw and play with the temperature and tint of the image.
Adobe Camera RAW

To adjust the image using curves you need to do the following:
  1. Curves PhotoshopColour Select Tool PhotoshopOpen the image in Photoshop.
  2. Find the Adjustments Window and select the Curves icon. 
  3. Click on the third Colour Sample Tool and click on an area of the snow that's not blue and your image will adjust accordingly.
This tool isn't perfect but with some patience it can produce good results.

See the before and after images here:
 Snowman adjustments in Photoshop
Have you snapped some snowmen? If you have, upload them to ePz now for everyone to see.

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