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Photographing dogs in snow

Photographing Dogs in Snow: Natural Light

Guess what? SNOW!!!  Woohoo!!!  Our first snow of the season and it was a good one – about 13 inches over a 2 day period here in Massachusettes.  

If you have visited my blog before, you may have seen my Husky Mix, Kota.  She’s a snow dog and winter is her favorite season!  She loves to just sit on the snow and take in all the beauty!

We enjoyed getting out for romp in the  yard, quite a few times!  And of course I couldn’t resist capturing Kota in her element.  She loves it!!!

A few quick tips about photographing in snow.  It is important to “over expose” your image slightly.  Try adding 1/3 to 2/3 exposure compensation.  Your camera will fight you when reading the light.  You will want to add more light into your snow scene – especially with all of the dull, gray.  Here is an example.  The first image is very muddy.  I edited the image by bumping up the exposure, brightening the whites and the lights.  

Photographing dogs in snow

One of the extra things I do have to watch when photographing Kota is her  “muddiness” – she is not pure white.  Sometimes I choose to make her slightly whiter 🙂 

Photographing dogs in snow

Another tip with photographing in snow is to pay attention to your “white balance”.   I find this to be the biggest challenge!   Often snow will read on the “blue” side.  Sometimes trying to resolve the “blues” ends up in making things a bit too yellow.  My image above is more on the “warmer” side, but I did have the golden light coming through the trees, and with Kota’s warmer coloring, I veer towards “warm” quite a bit!  

The next image is on the cooler side.  With snow images I tend to start things out in lightroom and reduce the saturations of blue, green and aqua.

Photographing dogs in snow

A third tip that I use when photographing dogs in snow is “contrast”.  I rarely up the contrast slider in lightroom on a regularly basis, but in this case, I want Kota to “pop” a bit more from the scene, rather than get lost.  

Of course I have to capture Kota running in the snow!!!  It’s what she enjoys!  


Husky running in snow

A last thing to remember:  A snow scene acts as a huge reflector of light!  Use that to your advantage!  Is there a better time of year to photograph dogs in New England?!  

Photographing dogs in snow

I hope wherever may be, you get to enjoy some snow this winter!  Having a winter breed, I’ve learned to enjoy this season more than any other!  Our favorite family activity is getting outdoors for a snowshoe.  

Next up in our blog circle is Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography.   Follow along our blog circle by clicking on the link at the end of each post and check out some amazing photographer’s takes on “light” this week!     Enjoy your weekend!   

5 thoughts on “Photographing Dogs in Snow: Natural Light”

  1. Great tips on photographing dogs in snow. It’s great how little adjustments can change the outlook of the picture. Enjoy the snow.

  2. Husky + snow = perfection!

    I’m so jealous. Every year at this time, I can’t wait for it to snow and Mother Nature plays this game of never fulfilling the weatherman’s promise. I know it will come sooner than later but I’m a very impatient person!

  3. So gorgeous, *almost* makes me want to live back in the northeast. Wishing for snow down here in Texas, but you have to hurry to photograph in it, it’s usually gone by the next day :).

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