Snowflake Macro Photos Captured Using a Canon PowerShot Compact Camera


Moscow, Russia-based photographer Alexey Kljatov shoots incredibly beautiful photographs of snowflakes on the open balcony of his home… using a custom compact camera kit. That’s right: rather than use fancy (and pricey) camera gear, Kljatov simply uses a 12.1MP Canon PowerShot A650 and some DIY macro gear that he put together.

Kljatov says he mostly works on a glass surface with an LED flashlight illuminating the snowflake from the other side of the glass. For other shots, he also uses natural light and dark woolen fabric as a backdrop.

Here’s what the setup looks like: notice how the sheet of glass is resting on an upside-down wooden stool:


When he was just starting out, Kljatov would use the standard macro mode on the A650, using a plastic bottle tube to stabilize his camera while it’s pointed straight down onto the snowflake at the minimum focusing distance. He would press the shutter with one hand (with a delay so he could shoot hands free) while using the other to point the flashlight at the snowflake.

More recently, Kljatov built a “super-macro addon” using a Helios 44M-5 lebs from an old USSR Zenit SLR camera. You can see the new rig above.

Here are some of the amazing snowflake photographs he has captured using the two setups:












You can find more of his snowflake macros over on his Flickr photostream and through his blog.

Snowflakes and Snow Crystals [Flickr via The Phoblographer]

P.S. If you’re into snowflake photos, be sure to also check out these gorgeous snowflake snaps by another Russian photographer named Andrew Osokin.

Image credits: Photographs by Alexey Kljatov and used with permission

  • Sean McCann


  • p.rock

    Wow. Some of those gave me chills (no pun intended). Nature sure is beautiful.

  • Jeff Bridges

    Should check out the Starn Twins sno series.

  • Matthew Wagg

    “More recently, Kljatov built a “super-macro addon” using a Helios 44M-5 lebs from an old USSR Zenit SLR camera. You can see the new rig above.”

    Surely that should read, lens and not lebs?

    But beautiful work indeed and anyone that yaps on about needing super specialist gear and a high end camera will just have to eat their words after seeing these.

  • Steve

    Wow, great pics!

  • Piblo

    Always wondered, how do you get a single snowflake onto the glass to take a picture of it without messing it up or melting it in the process?

  • Igor Ken

    amazing stuff!

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Can’t you shoot in the cold?

  • Ze Courlis

    oh, really awesome !

  • tom_67

    Wonderful shots it seems no need for MP-E65 :)

  • tom_67

    Moscow is a very cold place this time of the year

  • JaneÅndDoug Howell

    Hey were some of those snow flakes landing on pubes or what?!

  • Justice

    Open your freezer door, problem solved.

  • Angelina Singson

    oh boy, i will try this with my A560. antique, it has manual mode, macro settings. Just need a magnifying glass, thick snowpants, i prefer outdoor ligths. About time to shoot snowflakes in Ottawa right now, its hail outside!

  • sugumarje

    Wow Amazing!

  • David Massongill

    Everyone unique, just like our fingerprints. God is an AMAZING Creator

  • jimduval

    My Heavenly Father has made every one!