Photography in snow isn’t as easy as you’d think it might be. So I thought I’d take a moment to share with you my post production steps to really make my photos pop. Right, wrong, good, bad, or indifferent, these are the steps I take through the editing process to go from the RAW image to the final product. Hopefully, you’ll find these steps helpful, and learn something in the process.
Here is the original, unedited image that we’ll use for this tutorial. This is my horse, Nutter Butter. He’s sticking his tongue out at us. Smart ass. This is the SOTC shot.
EXIF: 1/800, F/2.8, EV 0, ISO 200,70mm: Shot with a Canon 5DMkiii, EF70-200 F/2.8L IS II
We will start by enabling the lens correction. This flattens out the image, and does away with the vignetting on the corners.
Next, I’ll adjust the exposure settings if I decide it’s necessary. I tend to shoot darker when the sky is flat, because it’s easier to take the dark out than it is to put it back.
Then, I like to adjust the clarity setting. I feel like this adds more depth to the image. I never skip this step.
From here on out, the steps are really a matter of preference, based on how you want the image to look. But if you stick with one way, it adds a style and design to your images so that people will see them, and know they’re yours immediately. Matt Cohen, Chris Dickinson, Janey Adams Cooper, are a few that come to mind who have a brilliant eye and unique style. You always know you’re seeing one of their photos. Someday, I hope to be that good.
I’ll now typically adjust the shadows, highlights, contrast, black, and white sliders.
Before and after:
And here is our final, edited image.
I hope you enjoyed this look at my process. In our next installment we will look at a couple of the high-key images I’ve shot in the snow, and I’ll show you how to go from RAW to the finished version.
Ps. Happy Birthday to my daddy!