How I Photograph snow crystals By Dirk Dom

How I photograph snow crystals.

By Dirk Dom


A few years ago I made an attempt to photograph snow crystals.


I used a Olympus PEN EP-3 with a Canon 20mm f/3.5 bellows lens for extreme macro and a series of extension tubes.

This is the lens:


When using serious magnification, stopping down with this lens gives you so much diffraction the image actually gets less sharp, that’s why I shot at f/3.5.

If you don’t have such a lens, you can very well use and inverted 50mm enlarger lens (costs $10 on the Ebay) or an inverted 50mm manual focus lens as a diopter in front of your camera lens.

I used black plexiglass, of which I had about ten 4 by 4 inch pieces, to let it snow on, a few flakes at the time. So many plates because the plexiglass has to be absolutely clean and dry, and then you can get on with photographing. Then I put them on a table, and illuminated them from the side with a LED flashlight. Then I took the shots.

It’s very important you hold your breath while shooting, or you’ll fog up your lens and viewfinder and the snow crystal will melt.

Here’s some results:


If you don’t have plexiglass, a black woolen sweater also gives nice results with the snowflakes clinging to the woolen threads.

I hope it gives you something fun to do this winter,




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