Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snow Flurries!

I've been at "Ketelsen East" for a few days taking care of some business with the house here. While the weather can be unpredictable in January, it has been unseasonably warm the week I've been here. Till today it hasn't been below freezing, and fog has been more of a driving issue than snow or ice.

So I was sort of surprised to see that we'd received some snow flurries overnight. No accumulation to speak of, but still something worth documenting! In cases like this, I do what I normally do - grab the macro and go close! I didn't feel like kneeling in the mud to get snow pellets in the leaves on the ground, so looked for something a little higher to shoot. Fortunately there are some evergreen shrubs, I think a variety of Japanese Yew, that formed a nice, high contrast background for the snow, shown at left. I was hoping to see some signs of snowflake or ice crystal structure, but as you can see, there is little sign of that. I moved over to a patio table and shot an isolated oak leaf and acorn shell covered with snow as well.

The little acorn shell looked cute enough, sort of like a sake cup full of snowflakes that I moved in to another for its close-up. And oh yes - these are all focus-stack images to increase the depth of field. The yew photo is composed of 12 frames, the leaf 14, and this little acorn cap combines 18 frames, each with a slightly different focus setting, combined in Photoshop to extend the depth of focus...

So I was disappointed that I didn't catch any crystal or snowflake structure, but so much of that depends on temperature, humidity and other conditions that I've learned that catching snowflakes to document is really a hard thing to do! Looking out the window a couple hours later, it was snowing again! Calm winds, the HUGE flake conglomerations were mostly falling straight down, so I went out again to see how they looked under the macro.

BETTER! First, the flakes were huge! The yew "leaves" are about 2mm wide, so some of the flakes were considerably larger! It was still tough to find a complete snowflake, but at least there were parts of them visible. The temperature was pretty much right at freezing, so they were melting over the space of a few minutes, so likely would have been better if it were a few degrees colder. Still, overall it was nice to catch a little of what I was looking for... Forecast is for colder temps and more flurries without much accumulation, so I'll keep on the lookout...

No comments: