Photographing a Black Dog in Snow

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

This morning there was ice on my windshield... You know what that means - winter is on its way! Every winter my black lab loves to play in the snow and every year I try to get a great photograph of him. Turns out it's quite the challenge.

Here are a few things that I learned from taking pictures of my black lab, Jack, in this beautiful fresh snowfall we got last winter in Southern Ontario.

Jack... Such a handsome pup.

  1. It’s very hard to expose for both dog and snow at the same time. If you want to do this you might want to look into using a flash or spot metering. Even then, it is still very difficult! I decided to compromise and expose for the dog, of course. I think in this shot it works and allows him separation.

  2. Overcast works best! If it is a bright sunny day, the light will cause the snow to be even more blown out.

  3. I used a long lens (70–200mm) which allowed me better depth of field. This will give you a cool effect if it is actually snowing or if there is wind blowing the snow around, as a long lens compresses whatever is in the frame. The longer the lens, the more compression and depth of field!

Overall, photographing black dogs in the snow is very difficult. I find that if you’re not too fussy about the background being overexposed, the more details you will have in the dog. Sometimes you just have to compromise and work with what you’ve got and keep trying!


#photography #winter #photographinganimals #petportraits #petphotography #dogs


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© Lori Christmas

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