Can someone explain how to capture a snow flake as a subject? I would like to know the settings and info for both DSLRs and camera phones like the Lumia 1020. (I would prefer Lumia settings; there are some stunning photos taken with the Lumia 1020.) Is it possible to capture falling snow flakes in detail with DSLR or compact phones?

I found examples on Flickr, but I have been unable to reproduce these.

  1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/detkodave/12180185486

  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/tt_koski/11971415113

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "Snow flake" isn't really the subject here. A bunch of snow in a landscape scene is the subject if you ask me. Do you want a single snowflake as the subject or a pile of snow like this? The only real thing going on here is a shallow depth of field, possibly added in post processing although I can't tell in this small preview very well. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Dec 11, 2014 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for quick reply. i want a single snow flake.@dpollitt \$\endgroup\$
    – Avis
    Dec 11, 2014 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ The second example is "frost flowers" or "feather frost". So it is a type of ice crystals, but not actually snow. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_flower \$\endgroup\$
    – vclaw
    Dec 11, 2014 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use a reverse macro lens technique. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBking
    Dec 11, 2014 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea, titlemis wrong. I was going to point out the little book of snowflakes. \$\endgroup\$
    – JDługosz
    Dec 12, 2014 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


The Flickr example you link to is of a single stationary snowflake, standing on two points so that it is crisply illuminated from behind. If you can arrange a snowflake like that all you need is a macro lens, and most phone lenses are capable of decent macro shots like that.

The problem with snow is that it usually falls as clumps of snowflakes. Go outside and shoot a "snowflake" that has hit the ground and you will see that.

You can capture crisp falling snow if your shutter speed is fast enough relative to the wind and fall rate — probably high hundredths or thousandths of a second. But if you want a macro shot of falling snow you need a flake/clump to be both close to your lens and inside your focal field when the shutter trips. In a heavy storm you can probably pull that off if you take a lot of shots.


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