In this tutorial we’ll share our best quick tips on shooting macro photography to capture nature frozen in place by the cold of winter.
Winter converts the land into a frozen wonderland, preserving miniature details of the macro world into tiny crystallized sculptures. So before you write off going out in the cold, have a look for some hidden photogenic gems; you may not have to go further than your own back garden.
To get the most out of a tiny subject we need to shoot with a macro lens, allowing us to focus exceptionally close up. It’s great for photographing in frost and ice, as when we get in that close, we see all of the detailed textures and patterns frozen in place.
As a starting point, gather some strong, natural, wintry colours, such as our red berries, from a cold, frosty environment. And if it’s not quite cold enough outside, you can always pop your berries in the freezer…
01 Setting the scenery
Find a frost-covered subject with a splash of colour to stand out. Early mornings are an ideal time, before the sun has risen long enough to warm up the ice.
02 Close up lighting
As macro subjects are often hidden in shadow, use a lamp or torch to accurately light your target. A warmer-toned bulb can be directed as a miniature sun.
03 Read the Meter
Use Spot metering to meter precisely on a red berry; otherwise the camera is likely to be fooled into underexposing the shot due to all the bright white in your scene.
Make your own winter
If it’s not cold enough to freeze where you are but you’d still like to try out this project, gather some natural objects, sprinkle water over them, then put them in the freezer for a few hours to turn the water to ice, giving your subjects an attractive, frosty look. You can take this a step further by using sugar as a ‘snowy’ background.