When I take photographs outdoors during snowfall, the snow flakes creates circles in the picture and end up blurring what I was actually trying to photograph. I'm a beginner, am I completely oblivious to something?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Philip Kendall, Hugo, mattdm, chuqui, MikeW Jan 7 '15 at 18:10

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Do you have an example of this? What camera setup are you using? Is the flash on? – user13451 Jan 7 '15 at 4:17
  • 2
    Are you using the flash? – mattdm Jan 7 '15 at 4:42
  • Tonia: please edit your question to include an example of the issue you're having. I've upvoted this question so you should (soon) have enough reputation to do this - but note I've also voted to close it as unclear in its current form. I'll retract that close vote if an example is added. – Philip Kendall Jan 7 '15 at 7:53
  • All it takes, in big fluffy snow, is for one foreground fluffball (you can't really call them "flakes" anymore at that scale) to be between subject and lens at the instant of taking. In the right spot, it's "winter wonderland" time; in the wrong spot, it's bokeh censorship. Slower shutter speed or shoot a bunch and pick a good one are the only ways around that. – user35658 Jan 7 '15 at 18:00
  • @MichaelNielsen as shown here, a 1 rep unregistered user can post a question with an image. – user13451 Jan 8 '15 at 1:43

If you're shooting snow at night with a flash, and the circles you're talking about are large, white, and fuzzy, what you're seeing are "orbs"--out of focus reflections of the on-camera flash burst from particulate matter in the air--like snow. This can also happen with rain and dust.

The only way to avoid it is to a) not use the flash, or b) adjust the angle of the flash (or use a flash off-camera) in such a way that these reflections don't came straight back to the camera lens. With a point and shoot camera, this can be difficult, since the flash is so close to the lens, and you probably don't have an external hotshoe or other way to trigger a remote flash.

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