It's the last week of January and it's winter where I live. I mean winter, in every sense of the word, not just in the calendar. Over the years I've often blogged about how warm winters have become and how these holidays for kids have changed.
I grew up having tough winters with heavy snows, temperatures dipping to -25C at times. We've spent most of our winter holiday outside in the snow and were never bored. Kids nowadays can enjoy snow if parents have the possibility to take a trip to the mountains.
What does this have to do with Snowflake Macro Photo? Quite a lot actually as with these warm winters photographing snow becomes a real challenge, let alone capturing some snowflakes.
Today however nature decided to gift me a unique possibility. This morning was overcast and a bit chilly and looked like we're not going to get any sunshine at all. Then at around 10 am it started to snow and that was my occasion to try to take some snowflake photos. There was no time to waste, so I dressed up and went out to the balcony to see if I can capture some snowflakes.
Before you look at the photos, please note, in this instance there was no such thing as looking for the perfect setup, perfect light and so on, the usual stuff a photographer usually do and I show you why.
Last time when we had snow, I tried to capture some snowflakes and had to realize there's no chance for that. When there's a thick layer of snow, you can't see the snowflakes individually, unless you have a professional camera to zoom in, which I don't have.
Today I was lucky to find some snowflakes on the ledge. Please note, this is a tiny piece, maybe 3mm long, which is very hard to photograph. I had to crop the image and the quality is not the best, but in this case please disregard the lower quality of the photo and focus on the snowflake.
We often see snowflakes drawings and I wonder how many of you have thought about if snowflakes are indeed like that in real life. Well, here is the proof. Just look at the snowflake above and see how perfect it is. I was amazed but had no time for amazement as had to work fast.
Here's my finger, nest to a snowflake for you to see how tiny these are.
Usually I take at least two photos of every scene, to be sure one is of quality. That's what I wanted to do here but by the time I pressed the button, the snowflake melted due to the warmth of my finger, which was most likely to close to it. You can still see the shape of it.
In this photo a few snowflakes have already stacked on top of each other and the forms are still clearly visible but if there's more, there's no chance you can see them. All you can see is a white layer of snow.
This snowflake already started melting when I took the photo, but its beautiful shape is still clearly visible.
If you look at this photo you can see that not all the snowflakes have the same shape. There is a smaller ones on the left side that looks like a flower.
To give you an idea what the situation looked like at the time of this photo shoot, here's a photo from my balcony. As you can see, there was plenty of snow on the ground, which was covered with a layer of fresh snow.
It took me like 10 minutes, to look for snowflakes that are not attached to other ones. I was really lucky to have half of my ledge clear and have some wind to throw these beauties on the clean part of the ledge.
10 minutes after I finished taking these photos the snowing stopped and after an hour the sun started to shine, which triggered the melting. Now the ledge is clean and dry.
At this point I am really considering myself lucky for have been able to capture these beauties. While I was taking these photos I was thinking of people who don't have snow in their country and of those who have never seen snow in their lives.
The other thing I'd like to capture is ice flowers, which is also a difficult one, if you don't have the necessary setup. For that I would need a simple window, meaning one layer of glass, not double like we have nowadays and temperatures way below zero. Chances for that to happen are slim to none, unless I go to a place where there's an old house with old style windows.
Before publishing this post, I thought I'd run a search to see how big a snowflake can be and was amazed to see the Wikipedia article on snowflakes. Unbelievable how many types there are out there, worth reading it.
So, have you ever seen a snowflake from this close?