Pro Tip: Switch To Manual Exposure When Shooting In The Snow

Snow can be tricky for any camera's AE system, pro shooter Vincent Soyez explains how to nail the exposure every time

Vincent soyez, a commercial portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, is always shooting.

“I constantly keep my eyes open for interesting visuals. In fact, if I don’t shoot regularly, I start to feel that something is missing almost on a physical level,” he says. “The photo shown here is a view from one of my windows. I felt seduced by the calm of the moment, and had to grab my Leica X1.”

What makes this shot special is its exposure. By setting it manually, Soyez was able to expose for plenty of atmospheric background detail while letting the camera’s flash exposure system make sure the defocused snowflakes weren’t completely blown out.

If you find yourself in a similar situation this winter, don’t give in to the impulse to shoot in your camera’s “green” or auto mode. The AE system will almost certainly be fooled into thinking the scene is well-lit because of the bright white snowflakes in the foreground, and underexpose the scene in the distance.

You can see more of Vincent’s work at