Thursday, May 14, 2015

Winter's Last Chance

I wrote this a couple months ago but for some reason never actually published it.  So here you go.

Winter is winding down and that's a good thing.  I am looking forward to warmer temperatures and color.  One thing that the winter does offer is a chance to see some amazing ice crystals.  You really have to look close to see the intricacies of the little crystals, but if you get down close enough they are beautiful.  Last winter I took tons of snowflake photos and never really got anything that wowed me that much.  I had a backlit snowflake that I thought was pretty cool, but everything else was mediocre in my eyes.  Saturday provided an opportunity to see a couple snowflakes and they were perfect.  It wasn't too cold that they were just frost pellets.  The air wasn't warm enough for rime to form.  So I went outside for a couple shots.  Fifteen minutes is about all I had to get something since the sun was setting and it was getting pretty dark.  It is very hard to see and focus on snowflakes through the lens in the first place, let alone in pitch black light.  Working with millimeters of focus depth makes taking multiple exposures a must.  I usually take between 7 to 20 shots of each flake and then focus stack them in photoshop to get a, hopefully, great looking snowflake.  Another problem I was running into with this little shoot is the plexiglass I was using.  I left it out pretty much all winter in anticipation of being able to shoot snowflakes.  Month after month of not having great snow, I gave up and let it sit.  The ice had formed on the surface an when trying to brush it off, I scratched it.  Now that may not seem like a big deal to the naked eye, but once your get down really close it makes a noticeable difference.  A little touch up was needed to clean that mess.  Anyway, here are a couple of flakes I happened to capture.  Thank you for looking!