With the impending reality of white death rearing its ugly head upon the Ohio Valley, I gathered my gear, strapped on my boots and waited for the perfect photographic moment which would allow me to capture all that was magical about winter. Dancing snowflakes became the perfect photographic fodder for the dreary day.
Alright, enough with the dramatics! But I will say I was super excited about the snowfall that happened on Friday. Armed only with the Olympus TG-2, a flashlight, and a MeFoto tripod, I headed outside soon after the snow started to fall. "Seriously?" you ask, "You are only taking a little rugged camera with you do this intensely detailed work?" Yes and here's why: this small, $330 Point and Shoot camera has the most amazing macro functionality I have seen at this price point. Actually, it's some of the most amazing macro functionality I have seen on almost any standard camera. It's like Macro Mode on steroids!
Although this how-to article is not an advertisement for the Olympus TG-2, it pretty much sells itself as the best way to capture snowflakes with great detail, good clarity, maximum portability, and with less expense than any other photographic tool you could use. Plus, you never have to worry about snow, sleet and rain on your camera. It's waterproof to 50 ft!
Shown below are a few examples of what I was able to capture with the Olympus TG-2. These images have been retouched to add sharpness and clarity, reduce grain, and/or enhance color.
There are plenty of other cameras and lenses that can capture macro imagery. You don't have to have the Olympus TG-2 in order to capture these stunning images. However, since most other cameras and lenses don't have the same powerful super macro mode as the TG-2, you will probably have to spend some extra time in post production software cropping your images to enhance the detail and make the snowflake appear larger.
How to photograph snowflakes in macro mode:
The best thing about photographing snowflakes is that each snowflake is different. I was blown away by the distinctive characteristics of the flakes and mesmerized by their patterns. Capturing the unique qualities of each snowflake is just as interesting as capturing the unique qualities of each person. Now, instead of dreading the impending snowfall, I see it as another opportunity to increase my macro portfolio!
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