January 17, 2008

Photo of the Week: Jan 13, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Snowstorms in Israel are just rare enough to make each one a minor celebration. With the roads closed, my shooting was limited to what lay outside my front door. Fortunately, that's never a drawback, as the scenic Judean hills are a willing subject all year long. Once again, timing played a critical role in capturing the clouds in beautiful formation as the tail end of the storm passed over my home. An hour later the clouds were gone and much of the snow melted as soon as the sun rose high enough to warm the valley. Because of the dramatic sky, I chose a vertical composition, which allows for more than half the frame to be filled with rolling clouds that seem to still be in motion. Snow is a tricky subject, as many amateur photographers have discovered. The immense whiteness of a snow scene can fool your camera into underexposing the image because the automatic metering system doesn't know you really want the subject to remain white. The result is muddy, gray, and dull looking images. To overcome this problem, set your exposure compensation option - a feature I've seen on just about every point and shoot digital camera - to +1.5 or even +2. Better yet, bracket your shots, that is shoot a whole bunch of photos at different settings. You'll not only learn how to use this feature, but you're guaranteed to hit one of the shots spot on!