“Snow Flowers” on the Front of a Lens


Apparently if you shoot in certain environments that are cold enough, beautiful patterns of snow and ice form on the front element of your lens. This is what photographer Alessandro Della Bella‘s glass looked like as he was shooting at an altitude of around 10,000 feet on Mount Titlis in temperatures of around 1° F.

The patterns that form on gear in these environments are rather beautiful:








Alessandro puts his cameras through these challenging environments in order to capture time-lapse videos such as this one, which shows Asteroid 2012 DA14 flying across the skies above a mountain in Switzerland:

We’ve featured photos of Alessandro’s snow/ice covered camera once before, back in December 2010, but those were at night and did not contain “snow flowers.”

Image credit: Photographs by Alessandro Della Bella and used with permission

  • Kent

    cool. i’m gonna throw my camera into the fridge then.

  • En Tao Ko

    I’m interested to seeing what kind of bokeh those will provide ;) Any pics of taken with it frosted over? Any cool patterns?

  • Justin Jensen

    Must be really humid because I’ve shot in colder temperatures and not had this problem. I’ve also shot in warmer temperatures and had it much worse than this.

  • Igor Ken

    lol I live like 20km near that place.

  • Igor Ken

    I thought they had to be on something a little more distant from the front element… like a couple cm…

  • Nanz Nano


  • reddyroc

    You are right I’m sure. You can have a cracked front element and still shoot perfect pictures. Just watch out for flare.

  • Igor Ken

    Yeah! And for the bokeh, I saw people use a layer with cut out forms that is put at the same distance where a lens cap would be situated…