Snowflake

You know those beautiful pictures of perfect snowflakes that you see in newspapers and magazines? Turns out they're rather hard to emulate, judging by my crumby efforts!

Above is my best attempt with this morning's first snowfall in St Albans. I used a sturdy tripod, zoomed live view to focus as perfectly as possible, and a self-timed mirror-up exposure to minimise camera shake. And the results above are about the best I can manage with my 1:1 macro lens – though I didn't hang about long as it's cold out there. I think now I know what they mean by "the wrong kind of snow". You can see the basic snowflake six-way structure, but it's just a blobby, knobbly mess really – and tiny at only a couple of millimetres across. I suspect that larger snowflakes and colder temperatures are required for great pictures, so the crystal structure remains crisp and sharp edged. It looks like my snowflake has got lots of detritus stuck to it. Greater magnification would also help but I'm close to the limits of my kit here.

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