Winter Wonderland: Don Komarechka’s snowflakes

You’re right, I don’t use a tripod for these images, but it’s not as challenging as it might seem. I need to rotate the camera around the subject to find the correct lighting angle with the ring flash, and this would be a very tricky maneuver if a tripod was in use. You’ve got to work quickly, as a snowflake will begin melting or sublimating even before it hits the ground – the best results are always achieved by the fastest methods.

I hold the edge of the ring flash with my left hand, and rest that same hand on the surface where the snowflake is positioned. This gives a fair amount of stability, and adjusting my grasp on the flash I can shift the camera forward or back through the focus area I need.

Slight deviations in position can be corrected in Photoshop, but this introduces minute perspective changes that are very time consuming to correct in post-processing.

Indeed – it is a LOT of work – about four hours per image!

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