Two months ago I came across a post on io9.com about a Russian photographer who created his own macro rig and shoots snowflakes. The photographer is Alexey Kljatov and his blog is http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.ru/ The io9 post is interesting and chaoticmind75 has a ton of amazing photos. It is well worth your time to check out both.
So it snowed in Tokyo today. I wanted to do photography but didn’t really feel like leaving the house. The snow hadn’t really started to pile up enough to be interesting, either. Then I remembered the snowflake photos I saw. There was no way I was going to be creating my own rig, though that process is certainly fascinating. I have a good camera and a decent macro. Having read that Kljatov does a lot of photoshopping inspired me to just go shoot what I can and crop it, shop it later.
I used my 5D and a 100 mm macro. I cropped a lot. Most of the snowflakes were really tiny. Really, really tiny, 1mm at the largest. I read on the chaoticmind blog that a medium snowflake is around 4mm. I was quite jealous when I read that. I just caught the snowflakes on different types of cloth and took the photos while half-in/ half-out of my balcony door. It gave the flakes a place to rest without melting, which gave me time to search through and find some actual flakes.
I handheld the camera using really high ISO. My tripod is no fun to use, especially for macro work. Later, I got a little more serious and brought out my flash. Sadly, by that time the flake size had gotten even smaller and whole flakes harder to find.
That was odd an odd thing I noticed. It was actually hard to find a flake intact. Most of them seemed to be tiny needles or broken flakes.
I hope you enjoy the snowflakes and feel inspired to try shooting your own. If you do, please leave a comment so I can see them!