Photographing a Black Dog in the Snow

Jack in the snow. (12/15/16)

Taking photos of black dogs in the snow… Oh, the struggle!!! Here are a few things that I learned from taking pictures of my black lab, Jack, in this beautiful fresh snowfall we got here in Southern Ontario.

  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!

— Lori