Shutter Speed’s Effect on Falling Snow
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, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos Rare Photo of Japanese Abominable Snowman -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/15 sec, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rare Photo of Japanese Abominable Snowman

Having mostly conquered the ability to drive in snow on our recent trip to snowy Toyama Prefecture, four hours' drive north of Kyoto, I thought to see whether I could enhance my ability to take photographs in the snow. At our first big stop in the snow, the historic Gokayama Village, while Anthony played on a slight hill covered with a lot of snow, I tried different shutter speeds so that I could inspect the effect they had in capturing the moving snow.

The results are not too useful in an absolute basis because snow falls at different speeds, ranging from a driving blizzard down to the very slow, silent fall on a calm morning where it seems as if the snow is falling in bullet time. (Memories from when I was a kid, of delivering newspapers at 3am on a dead-still Ohio Sunday morning during this kind of snow are very fond... well, except for the whole “delivering newspapers” and “3am” parts.)

It also depends on the focal length used, and I was not consistent.

Also working against these results is the haphazard way I did them. I thought “hey, maybe I'll try different shutter speeds”, asked Anthony to stand still for a bit, and took some shots. No planning, no tripod, no skill... just blessed ignorance.

Anyway, inspecting how the falling snow looks in each of these shots gives some ideas about what to expect.... something very slow like 1/20th or 1/30th of a second gives a great snowfall effect, at the cost of added worry about camera shake and the movement of other items in the scene....

, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 13 sec looks like rain -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/13 sec, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/13 sec
looks like rain
, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 20 sec could be confused for rain (except for the HUGE PILES OF SNOW everywhere :-) ) -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/20 sec, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/20 sec
could be confused for rain (except for the HUGE PILES OF SNOW everywhere 🙂 )
, f/16, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 30 sec gives a nice sense of the heaviness of the snowfall -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm — 1/30 sec, f/16, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/30 sec
gives a nice sense of the heaviness of the snowfall
, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 40 sec also nice, one flake near the lens puts a big white blog on Anthony's skipants -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/40 sec, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/40 sec
also nice, one flake near the lens puts a big white blog on Anthony's skipants
, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 100 sec still offers a sense of movement -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm — 1/100 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/100 sec
still offers a sense of movement
, f/13, ISO 800 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 160 sec no movement in the snow, but not crisp either -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
1/160 sec
no movement in the snow, but not crisp either
, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 200 sec no sense of movement in the snow, but less worry about camera shake and subject blur. (Anthony is in the air, mid jump, from the top of the mound) -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/200 sec
no sense of movement in the snow,
but less worry about camera shake and subject blur.
(Anthony is in the air, mid jump, from the top of the mound)
, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 800 sec very crisp -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/800 sec
very crisp

This last one is the one seen yesterday as Rosy Cheeks

Here's another pair of a different subject. You can see at the bottom of the thatched roof the multiple layers of different materials, as seen the other day on a different house.

, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 60 sec -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34 mm — 1/60 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/60 sec
, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 250 sec -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/250 sec

Finally, yet another pair taken of a grove of trees at a toll gate of a highway later in the day:

, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 30 sec -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/30 sec, f/13, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/30 sec
, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos 1 / 640 sec -- Shirakawa, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
1/640 sec

Continued here...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Great shots. I think my favorites are 1/250 sec and 1/640 sec.

— comment by Earnest Barr on January 27th, 2010 at 12:19pm JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I very much like the last picture. Total spots!

And you know your gear too, it does not get much better than a D700 and the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8.

— comment by Eolake Stobblehouse on January 28th, 2010 at 4:00am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I blogged this, here.

— comment by Eolake Stobblehouse on January 28th, 2010 at 9:56am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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