Changing the Look of Falling Snow

Shutter speed: 1/200
Shutter speed: 1/200

Watching the snow fall during a recent storm, I thought of some photos I took during a storm another year. That time I was actually out in the snow storm instead of watching it from my window. Being out when the snow is falling can be a magical time because you have another element to include in your photos. However, the falling snow doesn't have to come in just one flavor. You can control the look of the snow by the shutter speed you use. The photos shown here shutter speeds from 1/200 to 1/50. Fast shutter speeds, like the 1/200th, give the appearance of the snowflakes hanging in the air. As you go to slower shutter speeds the snow flake dots turn into streaks. The longer exposure causes the falling snow to be captured as a blur. If you go to a shutter speed that is too slow the falling snow can "disappear". This happens because the snow is moving too fast (relative to the overall exposure) and does not render in the completed exposure. It's the same principle as to why people who are moving around in a long nighttime exposure don't show up in the photo. As you can see you have a lot of control over how you want your falling snow to look. Of course when changing the shutter speed to vary the look of the snow, you want to maintain the same exposure. You could work in Shutter Priority, but then you’re the camera will change the aperture as you adjust the shutter speed. If you want the aperture to stay constant you can work in Manual exposure mode then change the ISO setting to balance the adjustments to the shutter speed.

Shutter speed: 1/100
Shutter speed: 1/100
Shutter speed: 1/50
Shutter speed: 1/50