Nose red, fingers numb and seeing double (from my macro lens) – these are the things I look forward to during winter time. Whenever I am behind my camera with the macro lens attached, it always amazes me how snowflakes come in different sizes and shapes. Read more: Focus Stacking: The secret to increased depth of field in macro photography Capturing snowflakes can be tricky, but these three secrets have helped me tremendously. * This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting Click it up a Notch!
No.01The right gear
I like to use the Canon 100mm 2.8L, the Canon MP-E 65mm, and sometimes even the Lensbaby Edge 80 (with macro rings). I’m able to utilize apertures of f/2.8-f/9 while capturing snowflakes with these lenses. The MP-E even has up to 5x magnification which makes the need for extension tubes completely unnecessary.
No.02Ditch the accessories
I don’t use a tripod or extension tubes. I prefer the freedom to move around to get a better angle. This is helpful, especially since snowflakes melt so quickly. I just try keep a steady hand and use a little timing on my breathing. Since I’m hand holding my macro lenses, I need to be mindful of my settings. For the 100mm, I can get away with a shutter speed of 100 since it has image stabilization, but for the mp-e 65mm, I go from ss250 or higher and have to compensate with a higher ISO.
No.03Grab a blanket
Thankfully I don’t have to go out in the cold and freeze. I just open my window, lay a blanket over the window sill. I like to use different kind of textures for the snowflakes to fall on to and to experiment with. I also prefer to use a fuzzy fabric, snowflakes seem to last a little longer before they melt. This gives me a little time to take more than one photo on each flake I find.