Snowflakes 101 – A Beginner’s Guides to Capturing Snowflakes
This Tech Session was presented on January 21, 2021 by Kersti Meema. The following is a summary of what was presented and is intended to get you started on photographing snowflakes.
What you need:
- Camera with macro lens (or lens with macro capability)
- Remote trigger
- Glass plate (the glass from an old picture frame works well – cover edges in duct tape)
- Falling snow! Temperatures of -8 oC to -5oC work well.
- Extension tubes
- Sharpening software – I used Topaz Sharpening AI
- Set glass plate outside to cool down
- Find a sheltered spot – porch, garage with door open – with enough ambient light
- Set up glass plate between two supports – level as best you can
- Consider the background – black fabric more than 50 cm from glass
- Set up camera (with remote trigger and extension tubes if you have them) on tripod over the glass plate
- Capture snowflakes on glass plate and place on support
- Focus and shoot
- Settings for image without extension tubes (suggested just to get you started)
- F-stop f/4
- Exposure time 1/10 sec
- ISO 100
- Focal length 50 mm – macro lens
- Without extension tubes you will need to crop heavily around an individual snowflake
- Sharpen with software
- Using mirror lockup will help reduce shake on these very magnified images
- When using extension tubes, try focus stacking since your set-up is likely not to be 100% perfectly level. This can be done with as few as 3 images. Then sharpen the final image.
LET IT SNOW!