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11-15-2013, 01:16 AM - 4 Likes   #1
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Macro with Snowflakes

Awesome!

Photographer Uses Cheap Home-Made Camera Rig To Take Stunning Close-Ups of Snowflakes | Bored Panda

11-15-2013, 05:11 AM   #2
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Amazing photos
11-15-2013, 05:24 AM   #3
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Fantastic. I didn't know that snowflakes could have such varied shapes. Beautiful.
11-15-2013, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #4
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yaay, now i have something to do in the winter!!!

those pictures are awesome

11-15-2013, 07:15 AM   #5
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Seeing the wool magnified so much made me feel itchy , but the snowflakes are beautiful! I've never knew some of these odd cylindrical shapes occurred.
11-15-2013, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I was just at a talk given by Don Komarenchka and he showed Alexey Kljatov's setup and one or two of his snowflake pictures. The talk was primarily about Don's own snowflake photography, book, and snowflakes in general. Given the work Don puts into each photo, he has a staggeringly large collection of snowflake images, some can be seen here Gallery | Sky Crystals.ca

Don uses fancier gear though Common Questions | Sky Crystals.ca but I'm still pretty impressed that he can reliably do hand held stacking of 40+ images at 5x or greater magnification (extension tubes are also used).

Either way it's pretty neat to get a glimpse at things that are too tiny to appreciate with the naked eye and only stick around in such pristine shape for a fleeting period of time.
11-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Macro with Snowflakes
That's some stunning imagery, just shows what can be done with a little initiative.
11-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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holy wow, that's amazing. inspiration to any photographer bp.uuuploads.com/macro-photography-snowflakes-alexey-kljatov/macro-photography-snowflakes-alexey-kljatov-15.jpg http://bp.uuuploads.com/macro-photography-snowflakes-alexey-kljatov/macro-ph...kljatov-12.jpg i wonder about these, can water (and oil) really behave like that inside a snowflake? they almost look like children's toys! truly amazing photos

11-16-2013, 06:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tripodquest Quote
http://bp.uuuploads.com/macro-photography-snowflakes-alexey-kljatov/macro-ph...kljatov-12.jpg i wonder about these, can water (and oil) really behave like that inside a snowflake? they almost look like children's toys! truly amazing photos
The snowflake guy I saw speak said these colours were due to Thin-film interference (Wikipedia), similar to what gives soap bubbles their colour.
11-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
The snowflake guy I saw speak said these colours were due to Thin-film interference (Wikipedia), similar to what gives soap bubbles their colour.
oh right, thanks for clearing that up
11-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Hey guys! I was looking through my web traffic stats and saw you were chatting about some of my snowflake work. Thanks for mentioning me, Brian!

My methods are somewhat similar to those of Alexey's, though I go into far more detail with focus stacking and post-processing. My equipment is also more advanced, but as you can see with Alexey's results you can do a lot with very little! I actually have a two-page spread dedicated to his techniques in my new book.

As for the thin-film interference, that's one of the most interesting aspects of snowflakes that really hadn't been well documented until recently. Here's a good example of a crystal that shows this kind of colour in the center, as well as a prism effect creating rainbows in the branches: Heart of Ice | Don Komarechka Photography

Of course more of my snowflakes can be found here: Snowflakes | Don Komarechka Photography

If you have any questions about the work, just ask! I'm always happy to chat about it.
11-18-2013, 11:47 AM   #12
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Welcome!

Hello Don, Welcome to the Forum!
Your work is outstanding, I really enjoyed it. I do have a few questions for you;
Do the snowflakes ever melt as you're shooting?
Do you have to leave the platform (wool, glass plate, etc) outside (first) for some time to temperature-stabilize? How long?
Does the wind move the flakes? If not, do you use some sort of wind-break?
Do you put your camera/lens into a plastic bag when you come back inside?
Sorry if these have been asked many times before, or are answered elsewhere.
Waiting in Denver, for the snow!
Ron
11-18-2013, 12:14 PM - 3 Likes   #13
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Hey Ron, thanks for the warm welcome! I appreciate your compliments on my work, and I'm always happy to talk about techniques.

- The snowflakes will melt when shooting at warmer temperatures, within 5 degrees C of freezing. ambient heat and heat from the flash both play a part, so you have to work quickly at those temperatures. The biggest snowflakes happen to form when things get a little colder, but you still have to work quickly. While the snowflakes are less likely to melt, they will still evaporate over time. Called sublimation, a snowflake will return to thin air be switching from a solid directly to a gas. You have about a half hour to photograph a snowflake before all the details become rounded and less interesting.

- I use a black woolen mitten for my images, and it usually stays outside. When bringing it outside, simply waving it around for a bit will help it cool off, and when snowflake fall on top they usually only make contact with a few fibers, so there is less of a chance for heat transfer.

- The wind can cause problems. I don't use a wind screen of any kind, but the close proximity to the crystal often blocks a lot of it. Heavy wind doesn't just make it difficult to photograph the snowflakes, it also produces less "perfect" crystals and you have less material to work with. The best snowfalls are the ones with low wind and moderate accumulation at around -15C.

- It's always best to put your camera in a plastic bag when bringing it back inside. This will prevent water vapour in the warm inside air from condensing on the camera. Instead, it'll condense on the plastic bag. In practice, I don't do this as often as I should. It should be done all the time, but I have had no damage as a result.

We've had a few snowfalls here in Barrie, Ontario so far, one of which was good for photographing. We'll usually end up with a dozen or so good snowfalls through the winter, and I can get plenty of specimens from each one. Because of the time involved in editing, I even still have some from last year that I haven't gotten to yet.

By the way, most of the questions you asked are answered in the book.
11-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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Thanks!

Wow! Great replies, thanks so much, Don. I'm going to give this a try, your images have inspired me. Usually I don't enjoy the snowy weather for photography (there are exceptions, but still...) but thanks to the snowflake images I've seen, this winter is different!
Ron
11-19-2013, 05:25 PM   #15
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Check out this story about the snowflake stamps issued by the United States Postal Service-
Snowflake Stamps

By the way, Houghton, Michigan, mentioned in the story, is 13 miles south of our home. Hancock, which is the city immediately north of Houghton, is officially the third snowiest city in the United States (the operative word here is 'city' rather than 'region') and the only one east of the Rocky Mountains.
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