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=SPETER= 03-09-2011 10:29 PM

Snow Pictures
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Wondered if there was anything I could do to improve snow pictures or if it was even possible for snow pictures to be accepted? I took a handful of snow pictures on Crawford hill which are rare... seems like most in the database were taken on fair weather days. I'm an hour away from the location so its possible for me to get up there in bad weather. Yesterday was a very rare day for around here because there was zero wind.

Belmont Tunnel:

mp 411 looking south (this one is dark... not sure if its salvageable?):

mp 411 looking north (the snow stopped... I would think its ok? The locomotive nose is dirty):

Looking for some help from others who have better photo processing experience than I do. I have Photoshop CS5 so I can do quite a bit of tweaking. Thanks a million, I have learned a lot from everyone on this site so far.


trainboysd40 03-09-2011 10:32 PM

You're underexposing the scene, by shooting in Av with no exposure compensation it's exposing for the snow - Which should be white, not grey. Go M, or at least dial in some exposure comp.
For photos you've already taken, bring up the exposure in your RAW converter, or if you're shooting jpeg use curves to get the snow white and get more shadow detail.

=SPETER= 03-09-2011 10:46 PM

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Ok... for curves which setting would you use? Lighter or one of the contrast options? I'm not too familiar with Curves as I haven't used them before, of course I haven't shot too much in the snow either. I tried a 'Lighter' option. This is what I get:


Is that the effect I want?

Joe the Photog 03-09-2011 11:07 PM

They look really soft to me too, esp. the first two.

magicman_841 03-09-2011 11:22 PM

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Don't be afraid to crank it. A snowy picture will look very bright.

How about this?

I raised the exposure a little bit, gave it some recovery (in LR), raised the blacks and contrast, a little fill-in light, some sharpening, then I cranked the light tones and lowered the light shades.

nikos1 03-09-2011 11:30 PM

magicmans edit is looking pretty good, brighten em and get rid of the color cast. The 3rd is the best in my opinion.

JimThias 03-09-2011 11:44 PM

Shawn, nice set of shots. As mentioned, the shots are underexposed. The color is kind of off for the BNSF orange as well. I think they can all be salvaged, but it's going to take a little work to get them to look right.

Here's an example of BNSF orange in the snow:


The orange needs to be a little more brilliant, but in your shots, it's just way too dark.

=SPETER= 03-09-2011 11:44 PM

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What do you mean by color cast?

Ok, I edited a little bit... here is what I came up with:




Thanks for taking a look at them magicman. I like where your going, but does the last edit create too much noise?

=SPETER= 03-09-2011 11:49 PM

Jim, never thought about that... thats a good point. Half the problem is that the engines weren't that clean to begin with, quite a few roaming around now have engine grime, however they should still be somewhat orange. I'm going to go back to the originals...

JimThias 03-10-2011 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by =SPETER= (Post 133254)
Jim, never thought about that... thats a good point. Half the problem is that the engines weren't that clean to begin with, quite a few roaming around now have engine grime, however they should still be somewhat orange. I'm going to go back to the originals...

I think you've got a good set of shots. Don't give up! :smile:

=SPETER= 03-10-2011 12:08 AM

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Stayed as true to the original as possible... here is the result. Opinions?


mark woody 03-10-2011 12:33 AM

I really like these snow shots, and practise by working on others forum posted shots.:wink::wink: So here is my go at the shots, increased yellow channel slightly and decreased red channel slightly also recroppped the last one and i think it has the best chance.

=SPETER= 03-10-2011 12:45 AM

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Ok... I adjusted yellows and reds... however not that much. Thanks for looking at it though, however.

JimThias 03-10-2011 12:56 AM

The signal shot/s-curve is great. Can you email me the original, unedited file to have a go at processing it? PM me for my email address if that's ok.

Chris Z 03-10-2011 03:50 AM

I might go for a look like this.
Chris Z

TAMR159 03-10-2011 03:59 PM

The easiest thing I can suggest is the Curves tool in Photoshop. Click on the white eye dropper, find a bright patch of snow, and click on it. Might have to try a few different patches, but it will essentially adjust the image's exposure and color so that the selected patch is pure white, thus the color and exposure should look good. That's all I did for this shot, for example:


You can continue to edit the shot beyond that point, but that should put you in the general area.

troy12n 03-10-2011 04:44 PM


I might go for a look like this
Except for the PINK sky in the upper right, wtf is up with that?

trainboysd40 03-10-2011 05:07 PM

Yes! Magenta tint!

=SPETER= 03-11-2011 01:39 AM

Thanks for the suggestions all... I'll try the eye dropper, if it still exists in CS5. I didn't think of that, I was manually moving the curve.

Watain 03-11-2011 01:41 AM

I like the last one the best, too bad snow wasn't actually falling when you shot it.

=SPETER= 03-11-2011 01:44 AM

Actually... it was falling, it just wasn't captured like in the other photos. The snow storm was just ending and the sun was coming out. I never thought I'd be able to get to Crawford Hill during a snow storm... I just wished that a Load wouldn't have stalled at 10:30 am to prevent more loads from going East (south). Oh well...

mark woody 03-11-2011 03:04 AM

Congrats nice shot worth the effort.

=SPETER= 03-11-2011 03:34 AM

Thanks Mark! Thanks for your help... I learned a lot about snow pictures this time around. A little bit more skill is required...

I'll look to get the rest of the photos added soon. I do have others that I didn't even share yet.

JimThias 03-11-2011 04:20 AM

Hey, that looks great. However, I would have cloned out that pole in the bottom left. ;-)

Chase55671 03-11-2011 04:24 AM


Originally Posted by Chris Z (Post 133296)

Bingo. Really like that look.


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