Bright white snow makes for stunning winter photographs, but it can be difficult to shoot. While our eyes can take in super-light and darker elements at the same times, digital cameras struggle to capture them. You know those blinding first few seconds when you take off your tinted snow goggles? That’s what it’s like to be a camera.
Here we’ll show you how to capture striking images in snowy settings using ProCam 6 to shoot, Darkroom to edit, and Facetune2 to add a finishing touch.
Shoot that snow
ProCam 6 offers a slew of advanced options, but don’t let that intimidate you. Snapping a photo is the same as with most camera apps: Simply tap the big circle at the bottom of the screen or press one of your iPhone’s volume buttons.
Just be sure you’re shooting in the RAW file format by tapping “RAW” at the top left of your screen so it’s highlighted yellow. Because RAW files store more data from your camera’s sensor, you’ll be able to make more dramatic adjustments in the editing process.
Although ProCam has a robust manual mode, we had great success with auto, so we suggest sticking with that. (Besides, when you’re wearing mittens, tweaking settings on the fly is tricky.) Bundle up, get outside, and snap away.
Edit your shot
When you look over the photos you took, you’ll probably notice a number of them are overexposed—that is, the snow appears blown out, with no detail. Thankfully, you shot in RAW, which means you’ll be able to recover some detail using a compatible photo editor like Darkroom.
In the app, open one of the photos you took, and tap on the adjustments button (it looks like three stacked lines with a circle on each). If your image as a whole is too bright, try bringing down the Exposure and experimenting with Highlights and Shadows. With a RAW file, you might be able to bring out elements in the photo that weren’t visible before.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve got, tap Export and save a copy.
Now for a bit of a hack: Open up your edited image in Facetune2. The app was designed for editing portraits and selfies, but trust us, it works wonders with snow.
Start by tapping Retouch, then Whiten. Now swipe over a section of snow in your image, then adjust the slider to whiten without losing the texture and detail you worked so hard to bring out.
If anything starts to look funny or if you accidentally whiten the wrong part of the image, just tap the undo button (it looks like an arrow pointing left).
When you’re finished, just tap the checkmark to apply your edits, then tap the button in the top right to export to your Camera Roll or share your wintry shot far and wide.