I cherish taking pictures of snowflakes. For my work, I attempt to separate single chips to uncover their structure and outline. Snowflakes are uncommon in light of the fact that they have a generally short life and I have the delight of being the stand out to see them.

A winter see in Rochester, NY, taking after the January 1, 2014 tempest.

By and large my home in Rochester, New York, can hope to get more than 100 inches of snow every year. Only for the record, not all snow will create great photographs. There can be needle, granular, and platelet snow in awesome plenitude, however just a couple of snowfalls give the kind of pieces you are most likely envisioning. Notwithstanding, I prescribe shooting whatever snowflakes you find since running over the right snow will be irregular.

Ice needles (left) and snowflakes secured in rime (right) are not perfect chips to photo.

As should be obvious, this snowflake (amplified 4 times at catch) is perfect for capturing.

Working Outside Below Freezing

Capturing snowflakes must be refined in temperatures beneath solidifying and as often as possible outside. To photo snowflakes, all hardware that touches them or the glass that holds them must be kept beneath solidifying. A camera does not need to be kept cool, however.

I get the snowflakes and after that move them to pre-cleaned magnifying instrument glass slides. The snowflakes are caught, captured, and frequently soften or sublimate inside a moment or in some cases less. The straightforward movement of sparkling a light on a snowflake will make it start to warm and dissolve, so you require a setup that gives you a chance to work rapidly.

I photo in my carport, and I forget my hardware (so it is chilly constantly) to be prepared when the right snow arrives. From various perspectives I feel like the fire unit! Since the carport is likewise utilized for my autos, there is additionally a great deal of stickiness there. To minimize the gear’s presentation to the overabundance dampness of winter and street slush, I frequently take the focal points off the instruments and carry them alongside the camera inside when not being used. Detachment from wind and falling snow is imperative for achievement. On the off chance that you don’t have a carport, a garden shed or a tent may serve as a decent space as well.

Getting and Moving Snowflakes

To gather great snowflakes for capturing, I utilize a bit of dark velvet in an old metal heating container. At the point when it’s snowing, I stroll around the carport to catch them while they’re falling. Dark velvet is perfect for getting and gives a decent surface to the simple choice of the great drops from others.

I then utilize a fine sewing needle that is taped to a pencil to lift them up. I locate the best gems from every catch and exchange them to 1″ × 3″ glass slides. It’s additionally conceivable to catch snowflakes specifically on slides or a sheet of glass. At the point when dealing with the gathering of—or exchanging of—drops, do whatever it takes not to inhale vigorously in light of the fact that you may accidently overwhelm the chip or more regrettable yet, soften it. I entirely hold my breath.

Cleaned and prepared to utilize magnifying instrument slides in my getting skillet.


Snowflakes will come in numerous sizes, shapes, and conditions. All things considered 1-2mm pieces are best for the framework I utilize. I find that working in the 2-8x amplification range is just about ideal for my gear and my DSLR.

These snowflakes were each amplified 6 times at catch.

Accomplishing this amplification range can be expert utilizing different sorts of gear and techniques. I have attempted numerous instruments including a compound magnifying lens, a full scale focal point on a howls, and a stereomicroscope. You may also try using a service such as trade show headshots Tucson for this instead. As of late I assembled a custom made magnifying lens utilizing parts from vintage instruments including the base of a Nikon MultiPhot that uses a centering stage from a 1930s Bausch and Lomb Bench L. Making photomicrographs in this amplification go makes them intrigue challenges, and the pictures will have a shallow profundity of field.

My natively constructed magnifying lens.

Compound Microscopes

You can utilize any magnifying lens for this sort of work. In any case, it ought to be furnished with low amplification goals, for example, 2x and 4×. Higher amplifications are not helpful for snowflakes; the amplification delivered utilizing a magnifying instrument may really be too high to see the entire drop without a moment’s delay.

A snowflake amplified 4 times at catch.

Snowflakes have an assortment of features and qualities that require elective ways to deal with lighting. I frequently interpose my finger into the magnifying instrument’s light way to make fascinating lighting impacts. I have additionally put a huge currency or hued plastics on the gathering focal point.

Straightforward Microscopes

Utilizing a large scale focal point joined to a howls or an expansion tube will likewise function admirably. Shorter central focal points will make higher amplifications and longer central length focal points will give additionally working separation. A focal point and camera that I for one have not utilized but rather might want to attempt is the Canon outfitted with their Macro MP-E 65mm f/2.8 focal point. This focal point can accomplish amplifications up to 5x without adornments.

A setup utilizing the Zeiss 40mm full scale focal point.

Utilizing a Smartphone or Point-and-Shoot Camera

While utilizing a DSLR would be ideal, it is still conceivable to photo snowflakes utilizing a cell phone camera or a simple to use advanced camera in blend with a magnifying lens or with a supplemental focal point to make more amplification.

To design your setup with a magnifying instrument, put the cell phone camera focal point or reduced computerized camera simply over the magnifying instrument’s eyepiece, roughly where you would put your own particular eye. At the point when this is proficient, the camera’s focal point will transfer the picture to the sensor without noteworthy corruption. I recommend setting the camera to its most limited central length when utilizing this strategy.

You can likewise make a setup utilizing an amplifying focal point or focal point from a couple of perusing glasses with a +2 or +3 diopter focal point. The supplemental focal point ought to be situated at the front point of convergence of the cell phone’s focal point to make enough amplification. You won’t have the capacity to handhold the camera, so I propose utilizing a little lab remain with sections to hold the telephone or minimized camera and utilize a little LED electric lamp to light your work as in the picture underneath.

A composite photograph of a cell phone and amplifying focal point with the resultant picture. The test target is an aligned slide for different magnificiation.

On the off chance that you are convenient, you can likewise take a stab at taking after these bearings to create a savvy photomicroscope.

At long last, Taking the Photographs

Since handholding the camera to photo snowflakes is incomprehensible, more often than not I utilize a duplicate stand and suspend a DSLR camera over the magnifying instrument. You could likewise utilize a tripod and place the magnifying instrument on the ground.

These snowflakes were each amplified 4 times at catch.

At the point when utilizing a DSLR, expel the camera focal point—you needn’t bother with it. Find the camera at the separation where the magnifying lens’ picture is sufficiently huge to cover the whole sensor. By utilizing dark development paper, you can make a light astound, which ought to be made sufficiently long to achieve the camera body however not enter the camera itself. This bewilder will piece incidental light from being imaged. In conclusion, it is vital to trigger the camera in a manner that does not make vibration, for example, by utilizing the camera’s self-clock.

I would emphatically prescribe working on utilizing your setup before attempting to photo real snowflakes. You can utilize a little white rice grain to measure the framework.