22 February 2008

Snow crystal photography

The return of cold weather with a minor snow storm provided opportunities for photographing snow crystals. Unlike the previous attempts (here and here), that were during the day using sunlight, the latest trials were at night using a flash.

Creating a suitable background that would bring out the details of the crystals was, once again, a major problem. In the 1st 4 pictures below, the crystals were on a glass plate that was raised above a piece of black cloth, while in the last picture the crystal was on a wooden surface.


Here are 3 crystals in a row.


And here is the leftmost crystal enlarged.


The next photo is the result of the serendipitous reflection of the flash from a crystal.


The last picture shows a peculiar crystal. Although it still retained its symmetry, it looks like it was starting to melt or had partially melted and then refrozen.


All of the pictures were taken outdoors using an Olympus E-500 with a 35 mm Zuiko lens attached to the camera via an Olympus 25-mm extension tube. Light was from an Olympus FL-36 flash attached to the camera with a flexible cable (Olympus FL-CB05). Both the camera and the flash were hand-held. Exposure details: 1/160 s at either f13 or f14 with an ISO setting of either 200 or 250. Exposure was controlled primarily by moving the flash closer or further away.


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures
what is the scale for your pics?


There is no scale, unfortunately. But most crystals were probably 2 mm or less in diameter.

coyote said...

Did you chill your glass plates before collecting the crystals?


Yes, I left it outside for a while.