Debbie Hartmann Photography

I am learning everything I can about photographing snowflakes.  It is a fun challenge and I have a lot to learn!  YouTube and the book, "Sky Crystals: Unraveling the Mysteries of Snowflakes" by Don Komarechka are my new best friends.  I purchased a Laowa 25mm ultra close up lens and have been practicing photographing tiny things.  I will post images here as Winter goes on.  I think these images will look beautiful printed on metal so I plan on offering these snowflakes as metal prints and metal ornaments.  Look for them in the "shop" soon.

This was my first attempt at photographing was way too warm so they melted quickly but I still had fun practicing with my close up lens.  I have this photo framed on my wall for inspiration.

This type of snowflake is a "Needle" type of snow crystal.  It's not a great photo, but it is an example of colors that can be found in the crystals.  In Don Komarechka's book, "Sky Crystals", he describes the phenomenon as this:  "The slight colored details are likely caused by optical interference.  Light being refracted through the prism facets of the ice crystal can create a rainbow of colors, but the magenta and cyan colors are typically caused by optical interference."  There is a whole lot of science one can find on the internet about this.  It's fun to read about if you are interested in that type of thing.  Look to the snowflake gallery below to view some snow crystals with really cool colors!

Just in case you wanted to see what a snowflake looks like as it melts in front of your eyes as you scream, "Noooooooooooooo!"

I have a few shots of this photo.  I only got a few shots in before it melted away.  It makes me happy to look at this photo because I get excited about taking more snowflake photos.  This is a good example of having a snowflake with just a slice of it in focus.  What I want is a snowflake with many different parts in focus so I can focus stack them later in my computer.  

Well here we go!  I have had some good snowfalls in my area and I have a lot of photos to go through.  I am choosing the best to work on and will be posting them as I go along.  The post-processing is time consuming and tedious but worth it in the end.  I use " focus stacking" for every snowflake image.  It's a process of taking many photos of the same image and merging the photos together to produce an image that is in focus throughout.  

This snowflake looks like a mirror that smaller crystals landed on.  I strive for that mirror-like look by shooting the snowflake at a slight angle and adjusting the light source to also reflect at an angle. When I see a crystal shining nicely on my background I zone in on it and take multiple photo and hope for the best.

Look at that beautiful center!  I was super excited when I took this photo.  The background for this pic was a purple sock.  Sometimes I go digging around my home to find things to try.  Who knew my sock would be perfect!  

This is my FAVORITE snowflake picture I have taken so far.  I am not going to say anything else about it.  It speaks for itself.

There is a lot going on here in the middle of this snowflake.  Numerous other crystals have attached themselves to this snowflake.  There is also two different light reflections.  On the left we get a bit more detail and on the right there are shinier reflections because of a slightly different angle to the light source.  I think it makes for an interesting image.

Some snowflakes have beautiful colors in them.  There is a scientific explanation for this and I am not good at explaining the reason, but it has something to do with optical interference, thin ice and air trapped in the crystal.  Click here for more info little grasshopper.

I've been wanting to try frozen bubble photography and I got the chance the other night when it was really cold out.  My first round of photos were filled with mixtakes so I went back out and fixed them.  It was truly magical watching the bubble fill with crystal growth.  I used a flashlight off to the side, a metal half dome for the bubble to sit on, and the rectangular shapes in the foreground is light bouncing off the holes in my outdoor table.  The holes are lined with snow so they really gave off a nice glow.

The following images are from the Winter of 2020-2021.  I will keep adding to the gallery throughout the year. 

I call the following images "Polar Spheres" since I created these images during a Polar Vortex in the Winter, which basically means really, really, really cold weather!

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