Winter can be a magical time for photographers. Snowflakes are a popular subject for photographers and there are many ways to capture them. The key is to have patience and keep trying until you get the shot you’re looking for.
Here are some tips for capturing stunning snowflake photography:
Find a location that’s picturesque.
You don’t need to go far from home to find a good location for taking photos of snowflakes. Choose a spot with natural beauty, whether it’s in your own backyard or at the top of a mountain.
Choose your camera settings carefully.
You’ll want to use manual settings when shooting snowflake photos because they’re more difficult subjects than other subjects you’ve probably photographed before. It’s also important that your exposure settings aren’t too high or too low so that your photo doesn’t turn out overexposed or underexposed.
The most important settings are your aperture and ISO settings:
Aperture: Set your aperture to its widest setting (e.g., f/2.8) to increase your depth of field — which means that everything from very near to very far will be in focus.
ISO: Set your ISO as high as possible without making your images look noisy (gritty or grainy). Make sure that you’re using 100% quality JPEGs in-camera rather than RAW files, which will require more processing power on your computer later on when editing the images.
Shutter Speed: Aim for a shutter speed of 1/125 sec or faster so that any movement isn’t captured on camera (such as people walking by or waves crashing onto shore).
Consider Your Backgrounds
A lot of times when people take pictures of snowflakes, they focus so much on getting the right angle and lighting that they forget about their backgrounds! Make sure there aren’t any distractions behind your subject, like buildings or trees that might distract from what’s important — the snowflake itself!
Use a neutral background
Snowflakes fall on a white background, and this is exactly what you want for snow photography. It is much easier to photograph snowflakes on a plain, white background than against a dark background, as you risk losing detail. It is also helpful if your background is smooth and flat, as this will make it easier to see the details of the snowflake.
Use a tripod
Use a tripod to help stabilize your camera and reduce blur from shaky hands. You’ll need one that’s strong enough to support your DSLR or point-and-shoot camera with a lens mounted on it.
Put on gloves or use hand warmers so that you don’t lose feeling in your fingers while trying to frame shots or adjust settings on your camera.
Use wide angle lens
The best camera for snow photography is a DSLR, with a wide-angle lens.
With this, you can capture a scene without losing detail. The wider the lens, the more area that is covered, giving you more room to play with. A 50mm lens would be great for capturing a landscape with lots of detail, whereas a 300mm lens would be ideal for shooting snowflakes. You can get a super wide lens for around £150. Alternatively, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the focal length of your camera by 1.6 and then double the resulting number. So, for example, a 50mm lens on a full frame camera would be a 100mm lens on a 35mm camera.
Take the shot in low light
Snowflakes reflect light. They are white and shiny, so the best time to shoot them is in the evening, when they are in darkness. Using your flash will give you a harsh light which will cause the flakes to look fake. For best results use a low-light setting on your camera.