The first snow of the year – in the East Midlands at least – and so I take the chance for some shots of the dogs in the snow. It’s not the easiest of combinations for photography as excitement is at 110%. My 1yr rescue shepsky has been snapping at snowflakes in the garden already, and though the veteran springer is playing it cool, the beat of his tail gives him away.
When I get to the wide open and let them off, the shepsky explodes, running in wide arcs around me and splitting her time between chasing her brother and making new friends with anything brave enough to put up with her.
The thing with snow is, it’s likely to cause the camera to underexpose, and that means the white stuff coming out grey, so you need to tip exposure compensation towards the positive. But positive exposure compensation also means the shutter speed slows, and that’s not a great fit with speeding, snow-crazed dogs. And with the snow still falling it’s darker than the conditions would make you think.
Shooting in aperture priority at the widest setting possible (f/4-5.6 on my Nikon 80-400mm G), the only solution to lift the shutter speed to a reasonable level, is bumping the ISO. It’s better to have some noise hidden in the snow than blurred details. I shot at between 640 and 1250 for most of these images, giving between 1/800sec and 1/1000sec – not perfect, but possibly enough.
It was only after the walk, I realised, that being a rescue dog, this might have been her first time out in the snow.