December Wisconsin Snowflakes, we finally got a decent snow fall during the day. So I was able to get some macro photos of those beautiful crystals.
The weather went from rain, sleet then snow in a matter of minutes. I waited for a bit for the temps to get cooler so the snowflakes formed their shapes, other wise they’d look like a solid clump.
You can see as the temperature began to drop the crystals began to form their individual shape. The colder it gets they would begin to fall from the sky individually.
Love how the centers have the 3d affect from the December Wisconsin Snowflakes.
What I Use For Photographing Snowflakes
- Dslr Camera
- Macro Lens ( I’ve been using the Nikon AF-5 Micro NIKKOR 85mm 1.35 G ED DX )
- Or a reverse lens kit
- Manfrotto Tripod
- Something dark colored cloth to catch your snow crystals, even a glove will work. (I use an old dark blue throw and lay it over the top of a ladder. Something high enough so I don’t have to bend over for to long)
- Cable Release
- Camera cover or even a clean plastic bag
- A cold snowy day
What I do
- First things first and wait for it to start snowing, this is the hard part because it can go days without a snowfall. But once it has you’ll want it to be pretty cold out, 30 or below. So the snowflakes can properly take their individual crystallized shape.
- Before I take my camera and tripod out doors. I take what ever it is I’m going to use to catch and photograph the snowflakes on, outside first. Leave your item sit in a covered area out of the snowfall so it can reach the temp of the outdoors. You’ll want to do this so the snowflakes won’t melt when they hit the blanket, glove or prop your using.
- Camera and tripod with your cable remote attached with the macro lens of choice. Head outdoors and let your camera and lens cool down a bit as well before taking photos. Sometimes they will fog up from the cold temps and this will give you blurry photos. I cover my camera with a camera cover or clean plastic bag when I take it out doors in the snow. This helps to protect it and my lens from the moisture. Then just remove it when your ready to take pics.
- Catching the snowflakes, I take my cold blue blanket and lay it over my waist high stand and then set it out to catch the snowflakes. Depending on how heavy the snowfall is, I’ll only have to leave it out for a few seconds. Then I bring it back under my covered area near my camera setup.
- Adjust your tripod to the height you need it and were your macro lens will focus the best. You may have to move your camera several times forwards or backwards to clearly focus in on your snowflake.
- ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed are all going to depend on the day you shoot. If it’s sunny, cloudy and the lens your using. My settings vary all the time, your going to have to play around to find that sweet spot. You may or may not want to use the VR if your lens has one. Sometimes I us mine other times I don’t, it depends on the size of the snowflakes and if the focusing will not cooperator.
- Use your Cable Release to avoid camera shake while taking your pictures. Especially when using a macro lens any of the tiniest movement causes blurry photos. Take several pics of each snowflake before moving on to the next one. Many times I’ve only taken one or two thinking I got the perfect photo and it turned out blurry, ugh!
- When looking for different snowflakes on my blanket. I keep my eye through the view finder and slowly move my blanket around to find the next crystal. This way my camera doesn’t need to be readjusted to much for the next shoot. If you don’t see anymore good shaped snowflakes. Cover your camera with your cover and take the item your using to catch the flakes and shake it or dust it off, away from your camera. Then set it back out to re-catch a new batch of snowflakes.
- Just keep doing this process over and over until your happy with what you’ve got or until it stops snowing.
The snowflake photo below has a red color to it. That’s a reflection from my red winter coat.
Hit and miss
It will take a few tries to get your snowflake photography just right. The saying goes ” you’ll take a 100 photos before getting that right one”. So if you don’t get what you want the first time around don’t give up keep trying until you get that perfect one. Once you see that beautiful snowflake up close, you’ll never want to stop taking photos of them. As well as getting excited for that next snowfall to come along.
I sure would love to travel around the country to photograph snowflakes and see if their anything like the ones here in Wisconsin. It most certainly is true, that not one is the same. Sometimes they are more round frosty to clear and like a crystal chandelier .
Either way I find them all beautiful and I’m amazed at their shapes. That something so tiny can be so pretty and add up to one big white covering on the ground.
If you haven’t given snowflake photography a try, then you should. You will be amazed at how delicate those tiny little flakes are and how they even survive falling from the sky.
I love December Wisconsin Snowflakes, because it’s usually that time of year when it’s cold enough to photograph them. I love being outdoors and try to photograph them as much as I can.