Photographing snowflakes is a tricky proposition. First of all, they are tiny, delicate, precariously frozen natural creations that don't like to be caught. When you do catch them, they clump together with their friends, or instantly melt into a pool of quivering destruction.
Learning to catch them and then take photographs is a skill that takes lots of practice, and lots of failures. Unfortunately, most snowfalls don't produce interesting snowflakes anyway. Only when the conditions are perfect - just the right amount of humidity, just the right temperature - are beautiful snowflakes formed. It's a little like trying to manipulate anything in nature. We humans really don't have a lot of control.
Most of my snowflake photographs have been practice - experimenting with catching techniques, using the digital microscope's focusing specs, figuring temperature controls, and trying to keep my bare hands from freezing. I've practiced on my own, with my family, and even with my whole 5th grade class. My students loved it, and actually got some pretty good pictures.
My daughter Bailey and I are teaming up this coming winter. She's a photographer, with lots of know-how at that end. We're going to take all we've learned so far, do some fine tuning, and hopefully create some exceptional images. The process is the battle. We need to mix a large amount of craft knowledge and practice, with an even larger amount of luck.
That sounds a little like becoming an author.
After months of practicing, planning, researching, and preparing, I've just taken the next step. For my birthday today, I asked for a new digital microscope. A Dino-Lite AM413T. I hope it does just what I hope it will do. Now if only it would start to snow...
Writing for children is a passion - along with reading kid's books, writing plays for kids, and teaching kids how to write!