Camera Flash on Snow

May 24, 2019

Camera Flash on Snow


A long Memorial Day weekend trip to Little House in the Rockies in central Colorado brought a big surprise: several inches of snow falling steadily all afternoon and evening yesterday. You probably know the Glover Gardens drill by now: pictures and haiku, all shared with you.

Let me tell you, my friends, unexpected snowfall when you’re on a trip where the primary purpose is to chill out (sorry for the pun, I’m sure you saw it coming!) is a gentle but insistent push from nature toward total relaxation. Relax, we did.

Afternoon Snowstorm / Natural Grayscale / No Filters

But of course I tried to photograph this unforeseen gift from the sky, although I have absolutely no idea how to capture falling snow. The afternoon snowstorm pictures like the one above look like they were purposefully done in black and white, or had a filter applied afterward. If you look very, very closely, you can see some big, fat, fluffy flakes falling, especially against the backdrop of the trees. But it wasn’t anything like the breathtaking experience we were having in person.

So I tried taking videos with my iPhone and learned that using the slo-mo feature works fairly well, in terms of showing special snowflakes. You might have seen the video below yesterday if you hang out with Glover Gardens on Instagram on Facebook (I hope you do!).

I took a few more pics in the evening using the flash, with very low expectations, but I was thrilled to see the results just now when I uploaded them onto my Mac. The novice factor is high, but this natural beauty cannot be obscured by the inexperience of the photographer.

Haiku: Camera Flash on Snow

I’m inspired once again to craft a haiku to try and capture the feeling – you knew that was coming, right?

unexpected snow
when there's nowhere i must go
brilliant flash of peace

Wishing you a peaceful weekend from Little House in the Rockies.

8 thoughts on “Camera Flash on Snow”

  • If you want the motion of snow falling during the day slow down you shutter speed to about 1/4 or 1/8 of a second.Set your f stop around f16 or so. If you can’t hold the camera steady, use a tripod. Blue or cyan are the filters you want since cold is shown visually by those colors.

    The night pictures are real close. Add a bit of cyan and make the pictures about 1/3 of a stop darker. The horizontal one, might need even less.

    If you want more snow pouring down, slow the shutter speed and close the f stop. Bounce the flash off of something white. In the old days when I worked in Eastern newspapers, I wore a lot of preppy close. And, a lot of white, long sleeved button down shirts. I used to bounce the flash off of me.

    • Awesome! Thank you so much for the tips. There’s so much I don’t know…you should write a book! I would definitely buy it. I was mumbling to myself on this last trip that I’m almost home from, “the best camera is the one you have with you,” as you said. I only had an iPhone in Paris, but it’ll do. 🙂

      • There are plenty of books already written about everything photographic, so nobody needs a book from me. Even the little tips are things that I’ve learned from others. Even stuff like adding a little blue to make a snow picture feel colder came from my large press management days. I couldn’t lay those out in any sort of order since I only think of them when I see something that reminds me.

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