It is great to see so many cool shots of our GSPs out playing in the snow! Just goes to show that a little cold doesn't stop us from looking for great images of our dogs.
Do you ever wonder why so many of your winter scenes with a lot of snow come out so dark? Your camera's exposure meter looks at every scene and thinks "Medium! The picture should come out right in the middle in terms of brightness....not too black, not too white." Well, when surrounded by white snow, its reaction is "Whoa! TOO BRIGHT. MUST DARKEN!".
You can compensate for this on your camera by overruling the light meter. You may have to search your instruction book or look on your menu, but what you want to do is actually ADD a stop of light to the photo. If you hit the "function/set" button on many point and shoot digitals you will see many settings for ISO speed, quality settings, white balance and so on. Look for the one that has a +/-0 marker and change it to +1. By adding a stop of light you overrule your camera and make your snow actually look whiter.
Take a look at these examples and you can see the difference. Here is a snow shot of Ranger shot with all automatic settings.
Now, here's one with the exposure compensation set to " +1 ". See how much whiter the snow is?
You may need to experiment with the actual values, as adding anywhere from .5 to 1.5 stops of light can look good depending upon your subjects. Incidentally, this tip applies to really bright beach scenes as well.
I hope this information may be helpful to those of you who enjoy winter photography and have the snow in their areas. I certainly do not mean to criticize anybody's posts on here, and would feel terrible if someone took offense. This is a wonderful community and I just want to give something back.