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Shooting Delicate Snowflakes with Andrew Osokin

macro photo of snowflakes

Snowflakes range from 0.1 cm to 10cm in size.

We know that each individual snowflake is unique and exquisite—it’s just a given. That makes it very hard to believe that something so tiny could hold such an incredible amount of detail. Photographer Andrew Osokin, who specializes in winter macro photography, has a lovely collection of frost, flowers, snow and insects on his website. Some of his most impressive work consists of super close-up shots of individual snowflakes, in my opinion.

Those first few seconds on the ground are all you’re going to get before they disintegrate. The good news is, almost every snowflake can outdo the last; these delicate little beauties just keep coming and coming, so it’s no surprise that people take advantage of that fact and turn it into photo projects.

macro photo of snowflakes

Using a Nikon D80 or D90 DSLR, along with a 60mm or 90mm macro lens, he produced these stunningly detailed images that appear to be Photoshopped, except they are not. Snowmen, icicles and snowballs are commonplace in the wintertime, but a macro lens can make a huge difference if you’re looking for sharpness and overall image quality.

macro photo of snowflakes

What I like best about winter macro photography is that pretty much anyone can do it, if you’re not too fussy. You don’t really need a fancy setup with all the bells and whistles to capture the beauty of snowflakes, icicles, snowballs or snowmen; a simple compact camera with a macro setting will do. You can also try the reverse lens technique if you don’t have access to a macro lens. Being quick is key because as soon the temperature rises ever so slightly, it won’t be too long until they become regular frosty blobs.

macro photo of snowflakes

Just a pinch of snow will give you enough subjects to photography for a while as long as you can manage to catch everything without destroying the individual snowflakes or letting them melt on you. When on the ground, you’ll also see some bits of grass or flowers that could serve as an interesting background.

macro photo of snowflakes

Check out the rest of Osokin’s snowflake photos on his website. If you’re not into snowflakes, here are some of Ososkin’s other macro shots:

macro shot of snail on mushroom

macro shot of lady bug on dewy object

We’d love to see your own macro shots of snowflakes!

Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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