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Winter gems

It snowed today! Like a wide-eyed child waiting with anticipation for the first gentle descend of a single snowflake signifying the start of winter, I was overjoyed to see the steady descent of fluff. Not snowFLAKES! For today was a perfect day for catching these wonderous tiny ice formations.

It was around -5°C and a calm, windless day. No sun so a flashlight was a needed. I brought out my adjustable stool, a large sheet of glass, an LED flashlight, and my gear: Panasonic Lumix GH4 + Olympus 60 mm f 2.8 macro lens + 3 extension tubes. At first I tried to shoot the crystals on a sheet of glass freehand but even at ISO 1600 the shutter was only 1/40 sec. Reluctantly I fetched my tripod.

Holding the flashlight on the side of a snowflake which landed on the glass without braking an arm or a leg :-) I moved one snowflake at a time on a fine haired paintbrush to a good, clean place on the glass sheet. Not all survived the voyage but the ones that did looked best illuminated with a blueish white light from below, shot at approx. f6.3 and ISO 600.

Here is a collection shot today on a sheet of glass and on my fur hat.

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