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Try frozen macro photography this winter

Winter brings many wonderful photo opportunities, but some of the simplest and best are often overlooked. These easy-to-capture macro shots can produce beautiful results, and are a must-try!

Read time: 4 minutes


When winter comes around, it’s easy to get caught up in frosty landscapes, snowy street scenes and clear night skies – and for good reason. But set your sights a little smaller, and you could be amazed. You don’t need any macro experience, you don’t need any specialised kit and you may not even have to leave the back garden.

In a recent guide, we broke down the essentials of macro photography for beginners, so if you’re looking for some tips, that’s where to start. You can even pick up a great tip for turning your ordinary lens into a macro lens. But now, let’s jump into some frozen macro photography inspiration.

The first and most obvious route is shooting snowflakes, and if you’ve ever seen one up close, you’ll know why. Of course, this does require snow, which isn’t all too common here in the UK. When the opportunity does come, though, it’s not one to be missed.

When it comes to snowflakes, there are two options. The first is photographing a snowflake that has settled on something, but this can mean going on an extensive hunt – especially if you’re looking for one that stands out alone.

The second option is catching a snowflake to photograph. You can use paper, a scarf or glove, or something more natural like a leaf. It may go without saying, but ensure whatever you use is freezing itself, or you won’t be able to suspend a snowflake on it.


Click the images to see a larger view

Images As seen here, finding a stand-alone flake within snow isn’t impossible, and photographing one that has landed on something can still produce beautiful results (credit: Aaron Burden)


In the case of no falling snow, it’s important to have a contingency plan – and one that’s just as impressive. That’s where the frozen bubble comes in. A frozen bubble is much the same as a snowflake, only larger and more easily controlled, making it the perfect subject for some frozen macro photography.

We certainly don’t feel we need to teach you how to blow a bubble, but there are a few things to consider. Much like the snowflake, the surroundings of your bubble are important. As with anything, frozen macro photography isn’t only about the subject. Also, timing plays a significant part here. You can allow your bubble to completely freeze, or you can capture patches as it freezes.

In the cases of both the snowflake and the bubble, lighting is everything. By catching the light, you can reveal much more detail in your subject. Usually this means backlighting, but experiment in the moment and find what produces the best results for you.


Click the images to see a larger view

Images Much like snowflakes, the way each bubble freezes is entirely unique, meaning there are endless options to shoot


One criticism of the frozen bubble is that it can look unnatural, and depending on personal taste, may not be the type of subject you’d like to capture. For those individuals, there’s a third option. Or rather, many. Because the truth is, almost anything can be the subject of frozen macro photography.

Flowers, leaves, berries, a spider’s web, a few drops of dew – they can all be perfect subjects. You don’t even have to wait to stumble upon them, either. Much like the frozen bubble, make your own opportunities by giving an object a light spray of water and waiting a few minutes.

So, finding the perfect frosty landscape may be your ultimate goal this winter, but while you’re waiting to find it, make the most of your time and explore the world of frozen macro photography. You may be astounded.


Click the images to see a larger view

Images Even ordinary subjects take on a new life in freezing temperatures (credit: Nicolas Picard & Andrea Windolph)


If you put these suggestions to good use, or if you have the perfect frozen photo in the bank, show us! Tag us in your photos on social media using the handle @PhotonewsPN.

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