Snow is White, not Gray

snow-exposure2Does the snow appear gray in your snow photography? The reason this happens is that your camera’s light meter automatically tells your camera to expose the snow to 18% gray, but snow is not gray – it’s white! Here are a couple ways to fix this problem. If you are using an automatic exposure, in which case your camera determines the exposure, you need to adjust your camera’s exposure compensation to add 1 to 2 stops of light. (Check your camera manual to find out how to do this for your model.) If you set your exposures manually, simply add 1 or 2 stops of light to the exposure reading of your camera’s light meter. These adjustments will capture the snow whiter in color in your photos, the way you naturally see it. However, be careful not to blow the snow out to pure white, or else you will lose all detail. Most cameras have a white clipping warning or “Blinkies” that will reveal areas of your photo that are pure white.


In this scene adding 2 stops of light give a better exposure of the snow

Check out this tips for yourself, and get rid of the gray snow in your photos!

Also see my articles for DPS at


About Bruce Wunderlich

Bruce Wunderlich is a photographer from Marietta, Ohio. He became interested in photography as a teenager in the 1970s, and has been a passionate student of the art ever since. Bruce recently won Photographer’s Choice award and Grand Prize at the 2015 Shoot the Hills Photography Competition in the Hocking Hills near Logan, Ohio. He has also instructed local classes in basic digital photography. Check out Bruce’s photos at Flickr
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