20171226-31 End of year snow textures

Some of my friends know that I am challenged to capture the delicacy of the texture of snow, especially when sparkles demonstrate specular reflections of sunlight from crystal faces.   Here are several examples of what I’ve been trying to get pictures of over the last week or so:

I am including this first one because the sources of light passing through the lens are very different and of some importance to a careful picture-maker.

  1. The light from the sky is scattered light from Sun.
  2. The light from the snow is mainly diffused reflected light.   Some white dots, which appear as small “sparkles” are the result of specular reflection of Sun’s light by the planes of individual snow crystals.
  3. The light from the rock is diffuse reflected sunlight.  There is very little light reflected from dark spots, where there is low reflection (and large absorption) of sunlight.

Although the following is not a picture of snow, it illustrates the very different texture of frost crystals compared to snow.

New-fallen snow has very soft contrasts (except for the specular reflections).  [Aged snow, which as melted and refrozen a few times, turns to sugar snow then to corn snow, with high contrast between the “grains”.  I haven’t included any here since we’ve had no mild spells!]

Attempted compromise between capturing the sparkles without making the snow look like white beach sand:

Edge of an ice floe with some crystals freezing before the camera:

I had to include this because it is nice!  …

One of these days I’ll learn why this frost flower has formed at this branch.

Very fresh windblown snow still with snow crystals.

Ragged shadow of the spruce tip shows the irregularity of the snow surface.


Also delicate …


One of my favorites ….

Two different cameras: This a FZ1000 at 432 mm:

GH4 with 100-400 Leica lens at 500mm EFL, which cost 4X as much:

Getting a good orientation of the snow surface is important…

Notice the windblown snow against the dark portions of the image.

Delicate …

Good exposure challenge …

What is the above collection to you?

  • An amateur picture maker’s attempt at technical self-development?
  • A little bit of art?
  • A little bit of both technique and art?

Always a bit of fun, eh?