September 19, 2019

Boom! We dragged you in as you asked yourself "oh no, do I make these mistakes?" Well, the good news is you might take a breath and think, "Nope! I'm good", but even better you might see something here and become and better photographer.

We live in the digital era and sometimes, it’s hard to walk the fine line between adjusting your photos enough while not overdoing it. Winter, in particular, has its challenges for photographers: harsh light, confusing exposure, discoloured whites.

Often, what would otherwise be a good winter image, gets slaughtered when the photographer gets to work on post-processing the photo. Whether this is the "creative" choice of the photographer or just not knowing the ins and outs of the editing process the results are a dead give-away of amateur-looking images.

If you think you could be getting more from your winter images but you're not sure how, read on! Here are the most common amateur mistakes when it comes to editing (and how to avoid them!)

1. Under Exposing

Winter photography can be tricky. Looking through the viewfinder when snow is present is bound to distort your perception of exposure (which is why it’s always a great idea to read your histogram!).

Underexposing can be caused by a couple errors. One being your shot was underexposed when you took it (common during winter) and the exposure never corrected in post-processing. 

The other error we see is an image being underexposed in order to bring out the details in the sky, whether it is a nice sunset or interesting clouds. This mistake is also an easy fix and its called the "Gradient filter". When editing, you can add the gradient filter to your image and lower the highlights to bring out the details of your sky without killing the whole shot.

Snowy peak with person in the distance
The photo on the left has good exposure while the photo on the right is underexposed.

2. Over exposing

To be honest, I'm not sure why photographers fall into this trap of overexposing their images when post-processing but its a dead give-away. My belief is that it could be to try and recover the details in the shadows and so the exposure slider is adjusted way too high.

It could also be that the image was overexposed when it was shot (and there is no recovering from that). Whichever the mistake is, take care to keep some detail in the snow when editing and double-check your histogram when out taking your shot.

skier on a blue bird day
The left photo has a good exposure while the right photo is blown out and over exposed. 

3. Terrible HDR

Whether or not the result of this is caused by HDR (High Dynamic Range) editing or simply adjusting the highlight slider all the way down and the shadow slider all the way up, the result is an image with no contrast and takes the appearance of a bad painting, either way, this effect should be avoided.

If you are not sure what HDR is, then great you will not be making this error. Pheww!

If you are reading this and slightly blushing, even better! You are about to up your editing skills.
Often we need to take two images when we are not able to capture both the highlights and shadows in the same shot. Most commonly this will be a bright sky and dark foreground. So my tip to avoiding the horrible HDR effect is to "Exposure blend". So take two images, one exposed for the shadows (foreground) and one exposed for Highlights (bright sky). Then in post, avoid using an HDR program and instead overlay the two photos in photoshop, use a mask and either brush or use a gradient to blend the foreground and background into one seamless image.

HDR photo example
Overexposed photo on the left, underexposed photo in the middle, and a good HDR image on the right.

HDR photo
Overrexposed photo on the left, underexposed photo in the middle, and a bad HDR photo on the right.

4. Over-saturation

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to spot an amateur photo is by the excessive oversaturation. All too often beginners upload their photos and get carried away with how saturated the photo can be. Over saturating a photo can be distracting from your main subject and makes the overall photo look cheap. Remember, just because you can saturate a photo doesn’t mean you should. Aim for a more natural balance by using the vibrance slider instead. The vibrance slider will increase the intensity of muted colours while keeping already saturated colours the same. Saturation increases the intensity of all the colours.

Over saturation example of man in the snowy mountains
A good level of saturation on the left looks more natural than the heavily saturated image on the right. 


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Vallerret Articles

Photographer's Guide to Shooting the Blue Hour. Photo carl van den boom
Photographer's Guide to Shooting the Blue Hour

November 14, 2019

Step aside Golden Hour! There’s a new favourite time of the night for photography. If you’re one of those photographers who pack up and go home after the final rays of sun dip behind the horizon, you’re probably missing out on one of the best times to shoot. Looking to step into the realm of Blue Hour Photography? Here are our best tips!
Read More
5 Reasons why Greenland should be your next photography destination
5 Reasons why Greenland should be your next photography destination

November 05, 2019

Ah, Greenland! One of those dream destinations that seem too good to be true and also a little too out of reach to make into a reality. Vallerret Collaborator Lisa Germany chose to move to Greenland from Australia and shares why you too should put it at the top of your travel list!
Read More
The Urbex Street Photography Glove
The Urbex Street Photography Glove

November 01, 2019

Introducing the brand new Urbex Street Photography Glove. Designed for Urban Explorers, who take to the frozen winter streets to capture a world that often gets overlooked amongst the hustle and bustle of city life. Abandoned Warehouses, Sparkling Lights, City Skylines and One of a Kind Characters. Being a street photographer takes patience, persistence and a bit of style. The Urbex glove is built to help urban photographers maintain that balance of style, warmth and functionality.
Read More
How to fast track your winter photography skills
How to fast track your winter photography skills

October 17, 2019

Getting a balanced exposure takes practice and lots of patience and it’s essential to know your camera’s settings and get familiar with shooting manual. Not sure how to do that? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Let’s start with the three main basics to help fast track your winter photography.
Read More
SIZING CHART

FIND YOUR SIZE:

  1. Measure around the widest part of your hand with a relaxed open palm.
  2. Measure from base of hand to the tip of the middle finger.

NB: We design our gloves to be snug for best camera feel possible. This sizing chart reflects snuggly fitted gloves.

    Unisex Sizes XS S M L XL XXL
    Hand Girth cm  18 - 20  20 - 21 21 - 22 22 - 23 23 - 25 25-28
    inch  7.1 - 7.9   7.9 - 8.3  8.3 - 8.7 8.7 - 9.1 9.1 - 9.8 9.8-11.0
    Hand Length cm  16.0 - 17.5  17.5 - 18.5 18.0 - 19.0 19.0 - 20.0 20.5 - 22.0 22-24.0
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.2 7.1 - 7.5 7.5 - 7.9 8.1 - 8.7 8.7-9.4
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 7.5  EU 8 EU 8.5 EU 9 EU 10 EU 11
     Unisex Glove Models: Markhof Pro 2.0 | Skadi Zipper Mitt | Ipsoot | Alta Over-Mitt | Merino Liner Touch | Primaloft/Merino Liner | Urbex
    Female Sizes XS S M L XL
    Hand Girth cm 16.0 - 17.5 17.5 - 18.8 18.5 - 20.0 20.0 - 21.5 -
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.4 7.2 - 7.9 7.9 - 8.5 -
    Hand Length cm 15.5 - 16.5 16.3 - 17.2  17.0 - 18.5 19.0 - 20.0 -
    inch  6.1 - 6.5 6.4 - 6.8 6.7 - 7.3 7.5 - 7.9 -
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 6  EU 7 EU 8 EU 9 -
    Female Glove Models: W's Nordic