Exposure for Snow Scenes

Winter view
Lolo Pass, Montana-Idaho border

Here in western Montana, it's definitely still winter, especially in the mountains at pass level. If you are taking photos of this environment, you need to help your camera make an accurate exposure. All the bright snow fools the camera's meter into believing there's too much light. So it makes your snow scenes look gray and dingy.

Adding some Exposure Compensation to the "plus" side brings back the brightness of all the snow. In this shot, I used Aperture Priority exposure mode and set Exposure Compensation to +1.3 to ensure the over six feet of snow (as well as the overcast sky) appeared bright.

Learn more essential camera controls for better pictures in Getting to Know Your Digital SLR Camera taking place March 28, 2020, at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.