Ansel and the Snowflake

It was 8 PM and I’d been trying all day to photograph snowflakes. But try as I might, the wind was howling and I could only “harvest” bits and pieces blown off the roof. Feeling a little discouraged—realizing that this would be the last chance to photograph snowflakes until next winter—I retreated inside.

Three hours later, a thought tap-danced across my concentration: “Go outside and try again.” So I pulled a pair of insulated pants and a parka over my pajamas, donned a hat and gloves, and headed into the night.

This snowflake was the first one to land on my black sampling board and “sparkle” in the light of my headlamp. I picked it up with a paintbrush (like scooping up a pancake with a spatula) and set it on the microscope slide. Holding my breath so I wouldn’t melt the snow crystal, I quickly adjusted the camera settings. As it came into focus, I nearly cried…

Thanks for stopping by. Be inspired. Be happy.

Love and blessings,

P.S. What is your favorite thing about snowflakes? Write me a note below…


Marion Owen is a “Jill of all trades,” with 30 years of experience as a teacher and columnist. She’s on a mission to help busy people enhance their daily lives. How? She “Readers’ Digests” topics such as photography, cooking, and organic gardening. Get her free 4-page “In Good Light: Photo Tips for Busy People” and feel recharged when taking pictures.

29 thoughts on “Ansel and the Snowflake”

    • Sally
    • posted on August 24, 2018

    Thank you for the wonderful article

    • Irene jays
    • posted on January 20, 2017

    OMG ‘s, thank-you for sharing !

    • tom DeLopez
    • posted on January 19, 2017

    Happy New Year, Marion and Marty. Have a Blessed year.
    Tom and Sandy DeLopez

    1. And many blessings to you and Sandy. Hope Florida’s winter weather is treating you well.

    • Melissa
    • posted on January 18, 2017

    I agree with all, wow!! How long do you have before the snowflake starts to melt? Tell Martin I think the cold hands were worth the end result ;-). I am sooo standing by for next post! M.

    • Linda
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    Marion, you ABSOLUTELY AMAZE me capturing these beautiful snowflakes. Until you did this last year I had NO IDEA that they looked like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you so very much for what you do!

    1. You’re most welcome… I photographed snowflakes on moss and spruce cones today. A real treat. Stand by for a posting…

    • Sharon
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    What a fabulous photo/work of art! And a wonderful lesson on trying just one more time!

    1. Yup. Never give up!

  1. Marion,
    That voice you heard may have been from the ghost of a fella who shot a few flakes in Jericho, VT some years ago …

    1. You might be right. I must visit Jericho some time. That fella was, and remains, an inspiration for me… to do what you love.

      1. Hi Marion,
        If you get bored and it’s still really cold one night, make up a batch of soap bubble mix and freeze a few bubbles. I’m told they photograph well.

    • H. Allen
    • posted on January 17, 2017


    1. Thank you dear brother. Sending you love…

    • luanne43
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    Love the narratives you always post with your photos! Tis a beautiful snowflake! Yes, a snowflakes and northern lights photo montage would be fabulous! Another great idea by you!!

    1. Thank you, Luanne!

    • Helen Williams
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    Thank you so much!- A beautiful picture-

    1. Thank you, Helen. I love the process of discovery…

    • Candice Falatko
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    So Beautiful. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Candy. Hope your winter is treating you well. Any travel plans?

    • Kathy Copeland
    • posted on January 17, 2017

    Aaaahhhh ohhhhhh ouuuu Sooooo gorgeous! Captured forever!! See you soon! X K
    Kathy Copeland Executive Director Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra

    1. Maybe it will snow in Death Valley whilst we are there with you guys. Hugs from Kodiak and see you soon!

  2. Beautiful image Dear. Don’t know what time you came to bed, but I do recall how cold your hands were!

    • Carolyn Clark
    • posted on January 16, 2017

    Very beautiful! You listened to inspiration. Thank you. 🙂

    1. I’m working on listening to that still voice from within. Thanks for the encouragement Carolyn.

    • Diana Thompson
    • posted on January 16, 2017

    such a gift…the snowflake photo and you Marion!!

    • Velda
    • posted on January 16, 2017

    That is flat out amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Claire Armistead
    • posted on January 16, 2017

    Beautiful, Marion!! Kudos to you for your creativity, skill, perseverance, and more … it’s beastly cold out there!

    1. Ah, Claire, beastly cold = snowflakes and northern lights. Hmmm, maybe I should build a photo montage, putting both together!

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