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Skiing in flat light

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Seer999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seer999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Skiing in flat light
    Posted: December/31/2018 at 18:04
In skiing (and no doubt other outdoor activities) sometimes you experience flat light.  In flat light, you cannot make out features in the snow--in fact, sometimes you cannot see the actual surface.

But when you go near trees, then you CAN make out features--tracks etc.

Does anyone know FOR SURE why this is?  What are the optics of this situation?
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Scrumbag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2019 at 18:49
I always found changing goggles / sunglasses for less tint helped. And more yellowy rather than brown shades but that could just be personal preference
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2019 at 18:54
Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

I always found changing goggles / sunglasses for less tint helped. And more yellowy rather than brown shades but that could just be personal preference


Wear amber at night in a rain storm or in a snow storm Amazing difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2019 at 21:33
This is mostly a perception issue.  In flat light conditions, your brain does not get enough visual cues to perceive depth so everything gets weird.  Basically, there is not enough contrast in the scene you are looking at.

Amber and similar goggle help.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2019 at 22:08
...my brain does not get enough clues....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2019 at 08:45
10-4 Ed.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2019 at 09:33
Snow skiing is one activity I’ve never done but always wanted to do.

I have experienced exteme flat light conditions several times while hunting in heavy snow in the mountains and also in very sandy desert areas during mid-day sunlight. I’ve always found that simply wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses works well enough to gain enough contrast to be able to discern my surroundings, but perhaps snow skiing presents extra demands I’ve never experienced before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2019 at 10:02
Flat light when moving quickly confuses the brain a little more, but it is the same phenomenon.

ILya
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mike650 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2019 at 11:53
Snow skiing, depending on the light I'll change up my goggle lenses to help see the terrain. Persimmon seems to work best for me on flat/low light days.

If snowing I'll switch to yellow, medium to bright days v28's, bright sunny days brown.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2019 at 12:48
Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Snow skiing, depending on the light I'll change up my goggle lenses to help see the terrain. Persimmon seems to work best for me on flat/low light days.

If snowing I'll switch to yellow, medium to bright days v28's, bright sunny days brown.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8shots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/14/2019 at 08:08
Last time I skied in flat light I fell flat on my ar$eWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tip69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/26/2019 at 21:20

one time I was skiing at A-Basin in Colorado and got caught in what I call  "white out" conditions.  it was snowing hard and I couldn't see my skies.  That was Scary!!! 

take em!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SageRatSafaris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2019 at 10:58
I'm an avid skier, I know what you mean about flat light. My take on why flat light is so troubling is that there is no contrast, no shadows, no texture. The sky is white, the snow is white, it's all just white. You can't see the bumps, rolls, moguls, or even tracks - only white. Snow texture that normally casts tiny shadows vanishes because the light is coming from all directions.

It's terrifying, like driving at night without headlights. In normal lighting, you can plan ahead three or four turns. In flat light, your focus is on the current turn and the conditions under your skis RIGHT NOW. Losing the ability to focus ahead dramatically affects your ability to ski a slope that might be easy under blue sky.

I find that yellow lenses help maximize the tiny shreds of contrast. Look for googles with high light transmission and tinting designed to enhance contrast (e.g., Smith ChromaPop or Oakely PRIZM). Do not wear polarized googles (actually fairly rare thing in ski goggles) or polarized sun glasses. 
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