Snow is an incredibly difficult medium to photograph, as scenes have a tendency to come out blue on auto settings! It is largely a case of applying correct exposure for success.

Basic compact cameras for point-and-shooters usually have a snow scene, as this is such a difficult photography situation, but if you want to know how to expose for snow on a DSLR, read on!


The white of snow throws the camera meter right off track, and the best way to combat this is to use exposure compensation.

The camera’s meter will turn snow grey, and to combat this, you can increase the EV (exposure value) to +1 or +1 1/2 .

White Balance

This is the next important tip. If you are shooting RAW, white balance doesn’t really matter, as you can edit it later, but if you are shooting JPEG, it is definitely worth looking into WB to ensure that your scene is crisp and well-coloured.

Auto mode will make the scene blue, fluorescent and incandescent mode will make it even worse. The best mode to use is cloudy (on a cloudy day) and sometimes even shade. You can also take a custom reading, and use that.


There is no denying that DSLR’s gobble battery. However, in very cold conditions, battery life will be very short, as the camera has to work much harder. So, bring spare batteries with you, and keep them in an inside pocket, so they will be warm, and last longer.