Winter artistry

Josh Rowe focuses on a tiny snowflake he captured and placed on a piece of glass with a camera set up inside his garage. Rowe captures the flakes and then moves the camera as close as he can to capture the detail of the flakes. (By Richard Sayer)

By Sydney Herdle – Staff writer

Josh Rowe’s attention to detail has him spending hours in the freezing cold focusing on the intricacy of snowflakes with the help of microphotography.

On a table set up in his garage, Rowe, 29, of Emlenton, uses a small paintbrush to transfer the snowflakes he catches on a brown paper bag to a piece of glass that sits in front of a lamp with a color-changing lightbulb.

He then positions his Canon Powershot Sx60 with a thread-on macro lens inches from the glass and takes photo after photo of the snowflakes he collects.

Here is an image taken by Josh Rowe of Emlenton using special close-up attachments for his camera.

Here is an image taken by Josh Rowe of Emlenton using special close-up attachments for his camera.

“You just have to take a whole bunch and keep the ones that look good,” Rowe said.

After spending hours behind the camera, Rowe saves the photographs on his iPad and posts them on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Rowe currently has 141 followers on Instagram, including photographers from Canada and Russia. His work is also shared in a few Facebook groups, including “Winter Wonders Photography: Snowflakes, Ice & Frost” and “Artists and Autism.”

Rowe has Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum that affects communcation and motor skills, but he said having Asperger’s Syndrome gives him an attention to detail and heightened senses that makes his work unique.

“[Asperger’s Syndrome] helps me think outside the box and create things no one else has,” Rowe said.

Having Asperger’s Syndrome has made it hard for him to communicate with other people and have friendships, but Rowe said it makes it easier to be friends with his art that gets shared around the world on social media.

Rowe was homeschooled his entire life and got a degree through the Erie Homeschools, but he now spends most of his time taking thousands of photographs of everything ranging from snowflakes and frost to keys, oil, bubbles and dish soap since getting his first camera about a decade ago.

Rowe’s mom, Judy Rowe, said he has photographed a wedding and a funeral in the past, but he mainly enjoys photographing inanimate objects over people.

When he doesn’t have a camera in his hand, Rowe enjoys singing and playing the violin, but he spends most of his time coming up with new ideas of subjects to photograph.

Rowe currently doesn’t sell his photographs, but he is searching for opportunities to start a business.

He has looked at selling his work on Etsy and is planning on attending a seminar at the Small Business Development Center of Clarion University next week.