Snow everywhere and tricky to photograph. I think I have posted before on the difficulties of taking images of snow covered landscapes and suchlike. It has something to do with being there and enjoying the whole vista and the calm that seems to come with a full on dumping of the white stuff.
I am usually totally at ease with the fact that people generally use photography to suit their own needs. Be that for social networking, personal enjoyment or for other, more professional purposes, each individual can get enjoyment from this wonderful world we call photography. However, I have realised I have a caveat to my tolerance! Snow pics…for some reason they drive me mad.
The local news with their “how you have coped with the freezing winter” pictures, the local newspaper with the “your snow” section, the copious amounts of facebook/twitter uploads, all showing snow as it actually isn’t. ‘ITS WHITE FOLKS, SNOW IS WHITE’ I find myself yelling at the TV/Newspaper/Computer. Now I should be just as tolerant of this photographic faux-pas as I am any other. But for some reason I am not. It gets under my skin and itches away like some bad case of the fleas.
The technical reason is easy to explain, a digital camera sensor deals with extremes and treats them as gray. Hence if you take a photo of a simple white card or paper, the camera will record this as mid gray. If you equally take a picture of something totally black, it will also ‘adjust’ this to gray. Normally, this works well with 95% of everyday scenes, however an all white scene will digitally be recorded as a dull gray scene unless corrected either in camera or in post production. However, virtually no-one does it! Are the general public all disappointed with their snow pictures? Do they not see the dullness? Do they not care?
My grumpiness is not limited to just the general unaware public, I find myself scowling at my laptop when surfing for images amongst those that should know better as well. Views and scenes that look amazing when you are there, very rarely translate to good images. A beautiful tree lined park covered in snow somehow just looks lifeless and dull no matter how it is processed and dealt with afterwards. I am not sure I know why this is? It might be because I too always struggle in this area. It might be because I just dont generally like snowy pics.
Those that ‘stand-out’ seem to be able to grab a detail or something different from an otherwise bland landscape. Maybe an icicle reflecting a gorgeous sunset or such like. Don’t get me wrong, in the right weather in the right climate, (generally not the UK) snow, sunsets and blue skies can look amazing. But generally, they don’t. Great images that are well taken that have the snow as incidental rather than the subject itself can also work well. Think snow sports, fashion in the snow etc etc.
Having grumped all post about awful images, here are some of mine that similarly fail to excite too much (see, this isn’t just aimed at others). The Chapel in Draycott Cerne attempted to grab the bleakness of the day. The post box was processed in a slightly gritty way to add something slightly different and the others are just record shots of ‘how it was’.
Anyway, I am happy really, just felt I would add in my grouchy views on the subject!