Grand Lake photographer: Say ‘freeze’ |

Grand Lake photographer: Say ‘freeze’

by Cyndi McCoy
Grand Lake, Colorado

Some people see snow as a nuisance, but Karla Booth sees it as “a beautiful, wonderful gift from above.”

If you happened to catch Channel 9 News on Nov. 25, you might have seen her. The Grand Lake resident has been catching snowflakes on film, and the photographs have developed into remarkable works of art. News anchor Mark Koebrich found them to be very unusual and “very Colorado.”

Born and raised in the Centennial State, Booth grew up with a deep sense of appreciation for wildlife and natural settings. “My best teacher for creating beautiful landscapes is, and always has been nature,” she said. As she expanded her photography skills, she was “amazed at the world a macro lens opened up” to her (a Christmas present in 2006).

She began with pictures of landscapes, rock outcroppings and waterfalls. Then she heard about capturing snow on a brush, tried it, and “voila,” her passion grew. Her photo of a 12-sided snowflake is her favorite so far, because it is so rare.

Most admit the first time they see the snapshots, the detail seems too good to be true.

But Booth assures her growing fanbase: Those snowflakes are the real thing. As each snowflake falls from the crisp winter sky, she provides a landing pad of a variety of items before they are captured on film.

As the saying goes, each snowflake is different and, like her subject matter, no two photos are alike. The temperature outside and the medium on which they land add to their distinction.

When most Grand County residents are inside sipping hot chocolate by the fire, Booth can usually be found out “searching for the most beautiful snowflake to share with the world.” The colder it is outside, the more detail, but she said she likes the “big, fat, fluffy flakes just as much.”

She uses feathers, herbs, pinecones, stones “and anything else I can think of” (including coffee beans) to gently grasp her subjects. Then Booth takes the shot with her digital Canon camera and 65- and 100mm micro lenses.

She loved the color in the work of photographer Peter Lik and said she is inspired every day waking up and living in the mountains. She is also very grateful for the “wonderful people” who love and support her work. Among them is her mother, who encouraged her to stay true to herself, and friends who helped her realize her work was good enough to be shown in galleries.

Booth sees the sparkle in their eyes and feels that she has created an opportunity for everyone “to look at our daily lives a little closer and understand that we always have gifts falling on us, we just don’t always see it.”

With her work Booth is creating a life she loves and welcomes everyone to share in the joy this winter season.

“It is not about what we can get, it is about what we can bring to the world,” said.

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