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How do you shade snow? What colors?


GazzaS
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Hi Everyone,
My first snow diorama... heck, first diorama... And I'm using some hobby snow I recently bought. I pressed some tank tracks in it to make an impression, but they're very hard to see.

I've seen wildlife photos where shadows in animal tracks look like a pale blue. is there a consensus of what works to make detail in snow photographable?

Or is it a question of trying to use shadows and photography to tell the tale?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Gaz

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Using photography and lighting direction to highlight and deepen shadows in a diorama setting, will also effect any figures and hardware taking part in the scene. Therefore your whole painting effort will need to be geared towards the strength of your light source. Bright sunlight or an LED trained on the subject within a display case will need less shading, as the light source will provide most shadow for you... Diffused indoor lighting will need more shade and highlights added to the groundwork.

I would shade the "snow" with varying shades of baby to medium blue if it's to be just put on a shelf once completed and not meant as a featured display piece.

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Thank you for that answer, Martin!  Here is the base after I used some blues to shade the current snow, then added more.  It looks better, but i think more practice in the future will be in order.

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Gaz

 

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Hi Gaz, there are many influences causing different shades in snow covered landscapes. There could be blues, greys browns, even pinkish tones and, er yellow.
Don't get fooled with photos. Normal light metering systems of cameras are prepared for a light gray 'norm light' and therefore have to be manually corrected to give snow the right look.

Cheers Rob

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14 hours ago, DocRob said:

Hi Gas, there are many influences causing different shades in snow covered landscapes. There could be blues, greys browns, even pinkish tones and, er yellow.
Don't get fooled with photos. Normal light metering systems of cameras are prepared for a light gray 'norm light' and therefore have to be manually corrected to give snow the right look.

Cheers Rob

Agreed. Snow is reflective. Like water, it reflects the surrounding terrain. Blue sky, bluish tinge to snow and icy tops reflect the sunlight like prisms. Grey sky, the snow is dull. 

But if you have vehicular traffic, whether it’s taxiing aircraft, land vehicles, or legged methane producers, the rust and footsteps mix with the dirt, etc, and snow quickly gets grey, brown, and dirty.

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On 2/16/2019 at 10:20 PM, Clunkmeister said:

Yep, snow is never “white”. It ranges from bluish to different shadings of grey.

oh, and for the ultimate realism, a little yellow spotting here and there is normal. :)

Notice the grey around the Snow Snake burrow.

C4A684C1-0747-45E6-9D0D-FE3CE9D3571F.jpeg

EC79D76C-A006-4D50-8843-7889C5B8119B.jpeg

You appear to be a 'bit of an expert'..............................:rolleyes:

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Gaz

I do a lot of photography in the winter and when a scene is underexposed with snow, a lot of blue creeps in.   As the under exposure increases, the light blue hue, starts to go more towards the grays.

One thing that is important, trying to match colors to what you see on your monitor isn't a good idea. Most monitors that are not photographically calibrated every few weeks, the colors are off quite a bit, way too bright and bluish. It's a misconception that you can calibrate a monitor by eye regardless what the manufacturers say: you can't. What you wind up doing is adjusting the colors and brightness to what you like but not the standard. Believe me, as a photography being a session for almost my entire life, and especially in the digital age, don't rely on the colors you are seeing on your monitor or even in a book or magazine. Odds are what was posted wasn't those colors and the colors that were posted suffer the same.

Back to the topic; just add a tinge of blue to the white to cool it off a bit and it should work just fine

Peter

 

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