Photographing snowflakes: How to take great photos

by Johannes

Photographing snowflakes is an exciting activity: For one thing, no two snowflakes are alike, and for another, the flakes are extremely small and fragile. Find out how to get the best photos of snowflakes in this practical tip.

Photographing snowflakes – this is the equipment you need

  • The equipment you need to photograph snowflakes is not necessarily expensive – provided you already have a camera where you can change lenses or screw on filters.
  • Qualitatively, you will produce the best results if you use extension rings. This improves the magnification of the lens and reduces the closest focusing distance – the minimum distance between the snowflake and your lens. This way you get your subjects bigger in the picture. Make sure you get the right extension rings for your camera model. Ideally, use the extension rings with a macro lens.
  • The next alternative is a little cheaper: with a macro lens you can take full-frame pictures of snowflakes. Screw the lens onto your existing lens and get started. If you have several lenses, it is a good idea to try out all possible combinations. The only drawback to macro lenses is the image quality, which is usually too low for professional shots.

Photographing snowflakes – how to do it

  • First of all, you need to think about the background on which you want to photograph the snowflakes. Dark materials are particularly suitable here, as you can see the flakes better here. Note, however, that the structure of the background will be very visible on your final result.
  • Now cool the improvised photo background so that the snowflakes don’t melt when they come into contact with it. If it’s cold enough outside, it’s enough to just put the material on the window sill. Otherwise, your freezer can do the job.
  • The most important ingredient for your photo is snowflakes: Not just any snowflakes, but fresh ones. These are not yet melted or broken off and therefore look best. For this purpose, put the chilled photo background outside when it is snowing.
  • Now all you have to do is wait with your camera ready for a perfect snowflake to land. If your camera has trouble focusing, just focus manually. A tripod or other stable support is also helpful. Now it’s just a matter of trying! Try different perspectives, different snowflakes and different camera settings.

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