My family, and my wife’s extended family, went up to the mountains near Yosemite (Mariposa, to be more specific) to celebrate an important birthday. We were incredibly lucky: what had been forecast as a weekend full of torrential rain ended up being 6 inches of snow, which then melted before we had to leave the cabin that we had rented. So no snow chains required! We woke up to a winter wonderland, with snow everywhere and overcast skies. I shot all these on my Mamiya 645AF, with either a 80mm (normal) or 150mm (mild tele) lens. Since the light was low, I used New Kodak Portra 400 and simply rated it at 800 to get the adequate shutter speeds. No pushing of the film was necessary.

And then the next morning, the sun came out! The images below were shot on Kodak Ektar 100.

For the sunny day, I had two ways of dealing with exposure. I metered (or guessed? I seem to recall metering off my palm and then opening up one stop) my shade exposure, and then set the manual mode shutter/aperture settings appropriately. I mostly shot with the sun to my subjects’ backs (which means my manual setting was properly exposing for their faces, which were away from the sun), or shot in the shade (same thing). When my subject was in the sun, I flipped to Av mode, but with a +1 overexposure set, to make up for the fact that the snow was going to trick the camera’s meter into underexposing.

For the overcast day, I just stayed in Av mode with the +1, since lighting was uniform.

4 thoughts on “Snow!

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