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LastB
28-Dec-2014, 04:22
Hello everyone !

I'm a bit of a newby in large format photography, I've been doing some for about a year in normal condition. But now this is getting serious and I'm going for a trip in Northern Canada, near Inuvik, for about 1 month. And my question is about the extremely cold temperatures I'll be facing (about -22F or -30C). I think I will be okay but my really worries is for my cameras. I'll be leaving with a Fuji GS 645 and a Graflex equiped with a Optar 135mm 4,7 (which I haven't buy yet). I'll be using some Kodak portra films with the first and some Kodak Ektachrome with the second.

How do you think should I protect the films? (I thought of congelation bags we use for food but I'm really not sure) And the cameras? A friend told me that with those mechanical cameras, the oil could freeze and then the camera refuses to shoot. What can I do to prepare them to such cold?

I hope really much somebody can help me.

Thank you very much in advance,

Cheers,

To

hoffner
28-Dec-2014, 05:03
First of all, relax. -30C is nowhere near "extremely cold temperatures". Oil doesn't freeze at -30C.
All else you can find in the archive of this forum. Good luck!

LastB
28-Dec-2014, 05:08
Great, thank you very much !

I'll be searching then :)

To

Greg Miller
28-Dec-2014, 07:37
Hello everyone !

I'm a bit of a newby in large format photography, I've been doing some for about a year in normal condition. But now this is getting serious and I'm going for a trip in Northern Canada, near Inuvik, for about 1 month. And my question is about the extremely cold temperatures I'll be facing (about -22F or -30C). I think I will be okay but my really worries is for my cameras. I'll be leaving with a Fuji GS 645 and a Graflex equiped with a Optar 135mm 4,7 (which I haven't buy yet). I'll be using some Kodak portra films with the first and some Kodak Ektachrome with the second.

How do you think should I protect the films? (I thought of congelation bags we use for food but I'm really not sure) And the cameras? A friend told me that with those mechanical cameras, the oil could freeze and then the camera refuses to shoot. What can I do to prepare them to such cold?

I hope really much somebody can help me.

Thank you very much in advance,

Cheers,

To

As far as film goes, the film will be fine. But static electricity can be a problem, so pull your dark slides very slowly.

At very cold temperatures, shutters can slow down. If you shutters are old and have not had a CLA recently, a CLA might be an order. Removing gunk and getting fresh lubrication can help keep shutter speeds accurate.

But your 2 biggest issues will likely be your own comfort, and the ground glass. Be sure to dress in layers and have warm boots, mittens, and lighter gloves that you can wear under the mittens but still be able to operate the cameras. When operating a camera in very cold temperatures, it is easy to fog or ice up glass. Do your best to keep your breath away from view finders and lens elements (its amazing how little breath it takes to fog up a viewfinder). And you pretty much need to hold your breath when under a dark cloth looking at the ground glass.

After being outside in cold weather, you need to be careful when bringing your cold gear back inside. Bringing very cold gear into a warm moist environment will present condensation issues. I bring all my gear into warm rooms while packed in a camera bag. Keep the bag sealed until it reaches room temperature.

Preston
28-Dec-2014, 08:07
Greg posted some excellent ideas, but I'd like to add three safety items, since I don't know how experienced you are with working in extreme cold.

1. Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia, and how to treat it.

2. Know the signs and symptoms of frostbite, and how to treat it.

3. Don't go out alone. Take someone with you who can see if you're in trouble due to the cold.

--P

Jody_S
28-Dec-2014, 09:29
Issues with the GS645: film becomes brittle at -30, so wind the film slowly. Also, you will possibly have film flatness issues. But the GS645 is a good choice for this, it does not wind the film counter to the direction of the spool, and no sharp turns in the film path like Hassy, Mamiya, etc.

For the large format, your shutter will almost certainly be fine if it's in good condition (test it beforehand by leaving it in your freezer overnight then check all the speeds), as others have said the main difficulty is in fogging your ground glass while focusing. Once it ices over, it won't come clear again without vigorous rubbing. Also, fingers will stick to tripods, etc., so the usual cold weather precautions apply. I have taken many shots in the Montreal area in the -20 to -25 temperature range, never any issues with my gear, I just learned to focus by holding my breath for 20 or 30 seconds at a time, and turning to the side, out from under the dark cloth, when I had to breathe.

Lenny Eiger
1-Jan-2015, 10:01
Good suggestions.... If you haven't bought that thing yet... you might consider a wooden camera instead of a metal one, and certainly a carbon fiber tripod vs one with metal legs.

I can't imagine going out with a view camera without some b&w film...

Lenny

Jac@stafford.net
1-Jan-2015, 10:12
Lenny, I know you can take care of your health and gear, but you realize, I hope, that there is no sun at all in Inuvik this time of year. None. There is only moon-rise and moon-set.

Regarding gear, I would not trust any old lens without a specialized CLA for sub-zero F conditions. I hate to say this, but even living in the Tropics of Minnesota only half of my shutters work in cold weather.
.

Ari
1-Jan-2015, 12:41
3. Don't go out alone. Take someone with you who can see if you're in trouble due to the cold.

This is very important. At least carry a GPS with you.
Every year a few people get lost on the tundra, not all of them newbies.
When you leave town, you are immediately alone and far from everything; there is nothing else for hundreds of miles, and the emptiness can be disorienting, especially if you start to get cold and panic.
Doubly so when it's dark most of the time.
Be careful, the far north is not for the faint of heart or spirit.

John Kasaian
1-Jan-2015, 13:47
A photographer once told me to take care with mechanical shutters by having them cleaned of all lubricants and relubed using K-Y Jelly. She said it stands up to freezing temperatures better(won't congeal) and when you return have them cleaned again and properly lubed.
But that was a long time ago, maybe shutter lubricants are formulated differently these days.

Aerial camera lenses have heaters to keep frost from forming, but I wonder what Shackelton's photographer used to keep his lens from frosting? It might be worth checking into. I remember some Artic photographer mention something about film not staying flat in the holder. I'm not sure what the solution was but it should be in the archives.

Fred L
1-Jan-2015, 17:57
when you say 'near Inuvik' where exactly do you mean ? There's not much unless you go up to Tuk or south to Fort McPherson etc..

Won't repeat what's been said about film but if your cameras are very cold, bag them before taking them inside as they'll fog up and dew over asap. Taking gear from a warm interior to outside has never presented a problem for me in the Arctic, it's always a prob outside --> inside if you don't bag or cover your cameras.

and while daylight will be in short supply or non existent, I find the light to be absolutely beautiful in the winter in the Arctic. It'll be dusk for the most part so think soft colours.

If the opportunity is there (and it will in most cases) do try some of the country food. I couldn't get enough of the boiled Beluga mukluk when I was up there earlier this year.


I envy your trip to the Canadian Arctic like you have no idea ;)

Leszek Vogt
1-Jan-2015, 20:13
Although I've been in -40F down here in the lower 48, yet the chill factor was -80. Judging by Prudhoe Bay conditions (and Inuvik is on the same level) take a pick on "-" temp and chill factor can reach to -120 up there....do we have instruments that would read these crazy temps ? Just saying... As Jac indicated, getting your shutters prepped for the cold is essential, unless you intend to do this via drive-by thing...opening the window ? Anyway, I'd contact Flutot's or SK Grimes for that. 'Geographic has done many arctic excursions and their eq was always prepped appropriately....using proper oils in shutters. Yet, you are also (likely) facing the reverse, when you return to (X location) you'll need to have the lube in the shutter appropriated for more mild temps. Furthermore, the film becomes more brittle in prolonged cold...whether it's 35mm or LF.

Anyway, don't bank on global warming up there....I just looked up and it's -26F up there. Don't wish to sound like a nay sayer, but most of the vehicles that operate up there require two elect. plugs to hook up, otherwise the reality creeps in and it's not feasible to turn the vehicle over till next May.

Hope you prep well and good luck.

Les

Jac@stafford.net
1-Jan-2015, 21:03
Although I've been in -40F down here in the lower 48, yet the chill factor was -80. Judging by Prudhoe Bay conditions (and Inuvik is on the same level) take a pick on "-" temp and chill factor can reach to -120 up there....do we have instruments that would read these crazy temps ? Just saying...

Les

Although it is highly unlikely that the chill factor could be -120 by the old or new method, half that would kill in a couple minutes. Scary for this tropical Minnesota kinda guy. For part of my military years we were issued the real deal arctic parkas, bib pants, huge gauntlet mittens with wool gloves beneath and big inflatable white Mickey Mouse boots. We wore one layer of light underwear underneath because it got so hot in there even if it was like working on the moon.

Moon - Inuvik is colder today than the mean average temp of the moon. True! Gotta think about that.

Leszek Vogt
1-Jan-2015, 21:44
Jac, I just looked up P. Bay (Deadhorse, AK) and here it's what it says....

"Official Lowest Wind Chill Factor: 28th of January,1989 - Temp of minus 54 degrees F and Wind speed of 31 knots (36 mph) - Gave a chill factor of minus 135 degrees F."

Anyway, as I was told the -110 chill factor is bit more common. The lowest temp in AK reached to -82F (+/-1 degree)....and there even is a monument where this was measured: Coldfoot, AK or 250 miles North of Fairbanks.

Deadhorse, much like Inuvik, it's an oil excavation village and pretty much all the operations are designed to take place inside....with few exceptions. I was totally blown away at the facility. Imagine, an oval track for running, whole array of gym machines, etc. I was there on June 3rd and it was 32F deg. - shorts weather.


Les

Jac@stafford.net
1-Jan-2015, 22:46
Jac, I just looked up P. Bay (Deadhorse, AK) and here it's what it says....

"Official Lowest Wind Chill Factor: 28th of January,1989 - Temp of minus 54 degrees F and Wind speed of 31 knots (36 mph) - Gave a chill factor of minus 135 degrees F."

Yep, that would be right for 1989. The wind chill factor formula was changed in about 2001 so that would be a balmy -102 today. The new formula is more refined, simpler, as if knowing that would give us warm fuzzies.


Deadhorse, much like Inuvik, it's an oil excavation village and pretty much all the operations are designed to take place inside....with few exceptions. I was totally blown away at the facility. Imagine, an oval track for running, whole array of gym machines, etc. I was there on June 3rd and it was 32F deg. - shorts weather.

Shorts weather! We have two universities and a college in this small town. Like forever young. Students start wearing shorts at about 30F. I quit riding bicycle when it hits 20F if its dry. I probably look like an astronaut on a space walk for the gear I wear. :)

LastB
2-Jan-2015, 06:43
Thank you all for your responses ! I received the GS645 yesterday so i'll look into all of this :)

To Fred L : I'm going to Tuk actually and don't worry about the cold and being alone in the tundra because i'll be living at a friend's house who lives and works there so I'll be well advised !

Fred L
2-Jan-2015, 07:39
bring some tim hortons doughnuts when you head up and you'll be golden lol. enjoy your trip, can't repeat it enough but an Arctic winter is beautiful. we'll be waiting for photos ;)

LastB
2-Jan-2015, 09:36
Of course, with much pleasure !

So about the Optar 135, maybe you advise me to buy a more recent lens? Like a fuji or nikkor?

WayneStevenson
2-Jan-2015, 22:49
Your film will be fine. Your gear however, may or may not be.

When shooting in -30c, oil and greases can gum up. Modern synthetic lubricants should solve that problem I would think.

Adhesives can fail. Plastic film holders and darkslides will become brittle. When I'm shooting in the cold with older cameras like my Graflex Speed Graphic, my bellows are always a worry for me. That and the shutter.

Just go slow.

LastB
3-Jan-2015, 03:53
Ok, I'll go to my photo shop this afternoon and inquire. But the thing is I live in Brussels, Belgium so the guy may not be aware of what needs to be done, I'll see.. (we get -5C for the coldest so..).
Anyway, do you have some clothes you would advise? I think I'll take some silk under glove (I don't know if it's the right term), then thin gloves and some mittens that I'll buy in Vancouver. By the way, does anyone have any stores to advise there? I know I ask a lot of questions but it's really hard to get any opinions on those shops, and they are many !

Thank you for everything else ! :)

To

Fred L
3-Jan-2015, 06:59
Will you be stopping in Vancouver on your route ? Mountain Equipment Co-op would be one place to get cold weather gear. or Marks Work Wearhouse (more for working stiffs but they are into casual as well).

A very good parka (I prefer down) and boots would be my primary concerns.

WayneStevenson
3-Jan-2015, 09:31
Vancouver weather would be closer to the weather in Brussels.

Are you going north for work?

When I used to work outdoors in -30C or colder, feet, legs, and hands are the first to get cold for me. 2013 was the last winter I spent my days outdoors for the most part. They're spent mostly in vehicle now.

Most of my current work-wear comes from Mark's (Mark's Work Warehouse as it used to be called). I wear insulated rubber boots, winter bib snow pants, winter insulated work parka, glove liners, and gloves. Wear good head-gear, and hood for when it's windy.

The expenses can add up going that route though. They're meant to last all day outdoors. If you're working from your vehicle, where you can pop in and warm up, a good jacket, gloves, warm shoes, touque, and maybe some pyjamas or long johns under your pants should suffice.

Though keep in mind if you have vehicle trouble dressed like that you're going to freeze to death.

WayneStevenson
3-Jan-2015, 11:38
Going to be -42C with windchill here just North of Edmonton tonight. And you want to go out and take photographs in this kind of weather? Heh.

Fred L
3-Jan-2015, 13:55
Looking at Accuweather's long range forecast and Tuk weather looks pretty decent tbh. Coldest day is -30c end of the month. If it's dry, it won't feel so bad. Make sure you stay hydrated during the day if you're outside much of the time.

It's probably too late to order them and they're kind of expensive but these are pretty much all I wear on my feet in the Arctic winter. http://shop.mukluks.com/Arctic-with-Ribbon-Mukluks-19995/productinfo/AR%2DR/#.VKhW-76vHjI

adelorenzo
3-Jan-2015, 18:54
If it's truly cold you will freeze your hands trying to operate a large format camera. That's your main problem you'll need to overcome, although there are many others. You should consider if you really want to deal with all that or if shooting medium format would be sufficient as it is way easier.

I have an Optar 135mm and the Graphex shutter freezes up on me, I've had better luck with modern Copals which seem to keep working in the cold.

Jac@stafford.net
3-Jan-2015, 19:11
It's probably too late to order them and they're kind of expensive but these are pretty much all I wear on my feet in the Arctic winter. http://shop.mukluks.com/Arctic-with-Ribbon-Mukluks-19995/productinfo/AR%2DR/#.VKhW-76vHjI

I wore these (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/White_Bata_Bunny_Boots.jpg), not because I'm a fashionista, but because they were issued.

Gloves - research military arctic gloves. They are usually a mitten type gauntlet shell with a separate fingered glove that goes inside. I've an associate who has done both poles twice. He uses a 6x17cm rollfilm camera and never hurt himself by pulling off the shell and loading film.

Next year I will be trying these (http://soldiersystems.net/2013/10/20/the-heat-company-heat-3-smart-gloves/). I don't need true arctic gear in the tropics of Minnesota.

Fred L
3-Jan-2015, 20:02
I've seen people using those boots but don't think they're Cdn military issue. The Stegers rare VERY light and warm, never had so much as a cold toe wearing them.

For mitts, I now wear the Military Arctic mitts from Raber Gloves.

Jeff Dexheimer
3-Jan-2015, 20:08
I shoot in northern Minnesota all year long. In the winter we regularly reach into negative 10-30's. Tomorrow we are expected to reach a high of -10 F. I have had older shutters malfunction in the cold; however none of my modern shutters have ever given me any trouble in the cold. A simple test. Put your shutter in the freezer for an hour or two, cocked and cable release attached. After the hour or two has passed, quickly open your freezer and without moving your lens, fire your shutter. If it works as expected, your shutter should perform fine in the cold. If in doubt, a CLA is a good investment.

adelorenzo
3-Jan-2015, 22:29
I wear Stegers all winter long (except when it gets too warm) and bunny boots occasionally and both are excellent. I prefer the bunny boots for standing around, snowmobiling or other times where I will be less active.

Drew Wiley
5-Jan-2015, 13:17
Beware of equip boxes made out of ABS - it can shatter with a minor drop. Likewise, be careful not to bend ABS filmholder slides. My biggest concern would be
keeping meter batteries warm. So either have some spare batteries in your pocket or keep the meter itself there. Guess most other issues have already been
mentioned. A snorkel hood might help prevent breath from forming frost on the groundglass.

FrankS
5-Jan-2015, 13:47
Shutter cleaned of all lubrication, for the cold, and wear an anorak, for the cold.

Once you return, have the shutter lubed.

lfpf
5-Jan-2015, 14:06
Shutter cleaned of all lubrication, for the cold, and wear an anorak, for the cold.

Once you return, have the shutter lubed.
+1

Perhaps consider a dry lube like graphite. Discuss temps with your CLA tech.

Also, consider camera assembly/adjustments (focus/film holder loading/darkslide removal) in a vehicle. Then do a photo hit-and-run on the chilly tundra aided by a wire-frame viewfinder/sportfinder. Effect: minimal time outdoors, minimal temp change to you and equipment, minimal frost likelihood and on to the next.

Have a blast.

FrankS
5-Jan-2015, 14:22
When going into a warm room with cold equipment, place the gear in a plastic bag and seal it so warm moist air can not condense on the cold gear. Once it reaches indoor temperature, you can remove it to unload film, etc.

Jac@stafford.net
5-Jan-2015, 14:41
Perhaps consider a dry lube like graphite. Discuss temps with your CLA tech.

Nooooo! Not graphite in a shutter. That stuff is like like a nano contaminate. It gets into the lens, everywhere, and is a b1tch to get out, if you ever can.
.

adelorenzo
5-Jan-2015, 15:01
I was out shooting at -30 yesterday with my Speed Graphic. This time the old Graphex shutter didn't freeze up, which was nice, although my tripod legs did. :) Seriously though don't do anything to your shutter until you have tested it, most of mine (as well as most of my other cameras) work OK in the extreme cold without any service. Ditto with batteries, lithium batteries are relatively impervious to cold weather and I've never had a battery problem.

I've also never put anything in a plastic bag when taking it in from the cold and it's never been an issue. YMMV. I do know polar photographers (like Martin Hartley) will often just leave their gear outside the tent all night.

I have an old Kodak publication on arctic photography at home, Just for fun I flipped through it and their advice on using large format boils down to "don't do it'". :)

Fred L
5-Jan-2015, 15:30
or you could leave it on bulb and take long exposures ;)

Liquid Artist
5-Jan-2015, 23:13
I'm not going to read all the posts, or give you any real advice since I'm sure most of it has already been covered.

However I'm in Yellowknife, NWT up to twice a week, and the temperatures are often colder there than your expecting. -35 is almost the normal. In 1 month I will be traveling 300km further North from there, straight over from the Top of Hudsons Bay on the map. It is often -55 or colder up there.

When there is no wind those of us silly enough to be out there will often get out of our trucks with just a light jacket on for a quick job. Although you'll never see it on the show Ice Road Truckers (which is what I do... no I'm not on TV) we'll even have a window open at times enjoying the fresh air. However when the wind picks up it'll freeze exposed flesh in seconds. The wind picks up in seconds with no warning.

Bring lots of water, and if possible keep it inside your coat close to your body. The air is very dry, and you will dehydrate quickly without it.

Plus don't just buy the top of the line winter coat from Walmart. You'll freeze in it. Find out what the locals where, and see if you can get the same.

One more thing. I've been 10 feet from wolves who were not afraid of my truck. The chances are they'll never hurt you, and I've never heard of a wolf attacking a human, but they're still something to be aware of.

lfpf
6-Jan-2015, 09:43
Nooooo! Not graphite in a shutter. That stuff is like like a nano contaminate. It gets into the lens, everywhere, and is a b1tch to get out, if you ever can.
.

Hm, not a problem. It simply works for some and emphatically not for others. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Regardless, I'm glad to see the resulting photos.

bob carnie
6-Jan-2015, 10:11
Hey if you are coming make sure you get a Team Canada Jersey!!!!!We are the Champs!!!!!!!!

Ari
6-Jan-2015, 12:55
Hey if you are coming make sure you get a Team Canada Jersey!!!!!We are the Champs!!!!!!!!

Don't rub it in, Bob; we are only the World Junior champs and Olympic champions.
Um, we're talking about hockey. :)

danno@cnwl.igs
6-Jan-2015, 15:52
What the hell is a (an) "Anorak"?
Around here, we shovel out till -30 with a sweater,
then lower than that we have to wear a parka.

The other two months of the year ( when there's no snow) we wear shorts and T-shirts.

And, we carry BIG swatters for the mosquitoes !!

FrankS
6-Jan-2015, 16:01
What the hell is a (an) "Anorak"?!

Inuit word for a cold weather garment similar to a parka but without a front zipper opening. It's pulled over your head.

LastB
11-Jan-2015, 03:15
Hi guys, thank you very much for all those infos, I'll have to meditate on that now !

Currently, I'm f*****g lost in the midst of all those brands of outdoor clothes ! Especially concerning the parka I should get...

Thanks again for all your help ! :)

FrankS
11-Jan-2015, 08:28
Simply buy the best parka you can afford!

Jac@stafford.net
11-Jan-2015, 08:36
Hey if you are coming make sure you get a Team Canada Jersey!!!!!We are the Champs!!!!!!!!

We are rather proud of Warroad, Minnesota. Granted, it is on your border.
.

LastB
1-Mar-2015, 12:40
Hi, me again ! :)

So, here I am, in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Quite exciting and so much to photograph !
Therefore, I come to ask a little question. So far everything has been great with my cameras, I've enjoyed myself with my graflex and I'm starting to really like this great format. However, I have a question about one of the film I use. Among my Portra, I have some ektachrome 100 positive film. I come to know that those films are quite less flexible than my good (or should I say perfect !) portra. I was wondering about shooting snow and so much light. I photograph landscapes mostly, and sometimes portraits. So here is my question : Should I underexpose a bit my ektachrome? Like about 1 stop? Or maybe more?

I've been trying to dig the internet about that but my internet service is so bad, I had to give up and try to post that message, hoping it would work !

So thank you very much in advance, I hope somebody has the answer :)

Teo

jp
1-Mar-2015, 13:21
Primarily depends on how you meter. I don't adjust metering with my incident meter, but I'm not shooting e6 either. TTL meters require adjustment for snow regardless of the film used.

LastB
1-Mar-2015, 14:04
I use a gossen lunasix 3 in reflective light. It's in great shape and has always been working well.
And with my fuji gs645 I use the meter of the camera which I think is a TTL.

Thanks for your help

LastB
5-Mar-2015, 18:10
Anybody has a clue ? :)

Jody_S
5-Mar-2015, 19:13
I use a gossen lunasix 3 in reflective light. It's in great shape and has always been working well.
And with my fuji gs645 I use the meter of the camera which I think is a TTL.

Thanks for your help

For partially snowy scenes, I suggest you use the incident dome on your Lunasix 3. Or with the GS645, try taking a reading on something that isn't snow. You can just over-expose by 1 stop as a rule of thumb, I personally use a spotmeter and take into account where I want the detail in my photo. Since I like the texture and shapes of blown snow, I tend to not over-expose so much, or I use some aggressive compensating developing if I want to keep detail in tree bark, rocks or whatever but have a nice smooth tonality in snowdrifts (in B&W- much harder to pull this off with color film).

Have fun! If you're not sure, particularly in 4.5x6, just bracket your shots for now. Over-expose by, say, 1.5 stops, and shoot one with the straight meter reading.

adelorenzo
6-Mar-2015, 14:19
How do you meter? With slide film in the winter I usually spot meter on the snow and try to keep it around 1.5 - 2 stops overexposed. I always use a skylight filter in the winter to minimize any blue color cast.

adelorenzo
6-Mar-2015, 14:26
Also I've shot lots of Sunny 16 exposures on slide film in the winter and that seems to work just fine. For example none of these shots were metered, just a Sunny 16-based exposure and all on Provia 400X. I'd guess most of them were something like f/11 and 1/500 s.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7373/8717073078_79b93ea545_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ehih8q)
Ice fog on the Yukon River (https://flic.kr/p/ehih8q) by Anthony DeLorenzo (https://www.flickr.com/people/71902268@N00/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/8715954833_57cb50f4dc_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ehcxHk)
Dezadeash River and St. Elias Mountains (https://flic.kr/p/ehcxHk) by Anthony DeLorenzo (https://www.flickr.com/people/71902268@N00/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7354/8718875863_b4c762287c_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ehsw2V)
Sun dogs over the Yukon River (https://flic.kr/p/ehsw2V) by Anthony DeLorenzo (https://www.flickr.com/people/71902268@N00/), on Flickr

LastB
6-Mar-2015, 21:11
Overexposed? I thought I should underexpose because of the snow reflecting too much light and maybe could mislead my meter?

djdister
6-Mar-2015, 21:38
Overexposed? I thought I should underexpose because of the snow reflecting too much light and maybe could mislead my meter?

Nope. If you take a spot metering of snow and shoot at that setting, the snow will appear middle gray. If you then underexpose, the snow will appear even darker than middle gray. So in order to make snow look like snow, you would overexpose from the middle gray setting so that it appears lighter in tone, like zone 7 or 8. This is a bit of an oversimplification, because there may be lots of strong light in the scene, but it explains the basic tonal consideration for the snow.

LastB
6-Mar-2015, 22:17
Oh okay, thanks for the explanation then. Same thing if I meter with a hand meter in reflective light?