06 December 2007

Return of snow crystal photography

Yesterday's snowfall, the winter's first, provided opportunities for photographing snow crystals this morning. Snow crystals look the best when they are fresh, because after a while their arms start to break off or melt and then refreeze, creating peculiar looking "appendages".

I was about a day late. These are the only 2 crystals I could spot this morning before my fingers got too cold. As you can tell from the pictures, these crystals had already lost their symmetry.


Compare these pictures with those I took back in February of 2006.



Katie said...

As I do macro photography, would you be kind enough to share your technique with me? I have never tried photographing ice crystals.


In the Feb 2006 post (link above) I gave some tips. Equipment is simple: camera with macro lens (I use a 35-mm macro) + a small piece of black cardboard. After I spot a suitable crystal on a mound of snow, I remove the snow in front of it to make room for the camera lens, then stick the cardboard behind the crystal to create a dark background, which increases the visibility of the crystal. That's about it.

I was thinking that while it is snowing it should be possible to collect flurries on a glass plate, then place the plate on a dark background & photograph the crystals. The plate needs to be cold, however, to prevent melting. I may try this next time it snows.

Gloves that leave the fingers exposed are also necesary to be able to operate the camera controls (I set the exposure manually). But the fingers get cold quickly.