Picture this. A child is standing chin deep in snow. Only her eyes and bright yellow cap show above the white.
Picture this. Cars are lined up like marshmallow puffs on a side street with show broken only by a narrow footpath for a man and dog.
Wonderful picture possibilities all over the Washington area in the great blizzard of 1979. If only the pictures come out.
So here are some pointers from professionals on taking pictures in the snow.
Pictures should be taken only after your camera is acclimated to the cold weather. The camera is likely to fog up when taken from indoors to the outside cold. Simply wait for it to unfog on its own.
At all costs, avoid getting the camera wet inside or out, particularly when changing film.
If you cannot go indoors, change film behind an umbrella or under a coat to prevent snow from getting on the camera. Dampness inside the camera can cause spotty or fuzzy pictures and can rust the mechanism.
Shoot into the sun to get detail.
Use the slowest speed black-and-white film you have or can buy. The reflection of the snow provides the extra light that is needed to make an image with the slower film.
If you aren't using a meter, use this as a ground rule: Stick to the smallest lens opening (which is the largest number) and the fastest speed to compensate for all the extra light.
If you do use a meter, there is as much danger of underexposing as overexposing because of the glare from the snow. You should bracket all pictures. For example, if the meter indicates a picture should be taken at 1/250 at f8, shoot it as well at 1/250 at f5.6 and f11.
With Instamatics or any completely automatic cameras, stick to totally shaded or totally bright areas.
With color slide film: When in doubt, underexpose. (If the meter says 1/1000 at f11, choose 1/1000 at f16.