I’ll continue our journey from Chile with a stop in Paracas, Peru, beginning next week. But first I wanted to share with you our rare El Paso snowstorm, which started the day after Christmas and didn’t end until nearly noon the following day. Friday’s blog will feature some favorite shots taken during and after this blizzard, and on Wednesday I’m going to feature some rather fun firearms.
You may recall that I posted some hints on how to photograph snow in “Honey, why is the snow so gray . . . and your face so dark?” The trick, as you’ll recall, is primarily exposure compensation, and today’s photographs are no exception. These shots, both during the storm and later in bright sun conditions, were taken with a compensation of +1.3 stops to compensate for how snow tricks the camera’s built-in exposure metering.
How did I come up with that number? Experience, mostly. But I also photographed in raw just to give myself maximum leeway in case I guessed wrong. I didn’t. The only post-processing necessary for these shots were tweaks in saturation, contrast, shadow control, color balance, and some cropping. No tweaking of exposure was needed.
Fortunately up here on the mountain we get some great views. Here’s a shot of mountains in neighboring New Mexico:
And here is another of the Franklin Mountains that tower over us:
As for color balance, the camera was set to auto-balance but I found I got better results with the snowstorm photos by switching that to “Cloudy” (5,500K) in post processing. This removed some of the bluish tint without warming the snow too much.
Fortunately that melted almost immediately following the breakup of the overcast and the welcome arrival of warming sun rays:
Our neighbors’ house got quite the dusting on the parapet of their beautiful Santa Fe-style home:
Of course our own front balconies were not immune to accumulation:
And I’m sure the desert plants will enjoy the moisture as well: