Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Snowflake draft #2

This is quick update of Snowflake draft series, before i'll continue digging archives from recent winter. This photo was taken January 18, 2013: very first winter when i start to use lens Helios 44 as additional magnifier, and assembled my current snowflake macro setup. I needed this picture of snowflake for side project, and spent three hours to process it from averaged stack of 7 serial JPEG sources.

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-1 - pair of very big snow crystals with similar shape and internal structure, sparkling on dark grey textured background
Snowflake photo: Draft_2-1 (3200 x 2400)

This is pair of big stellar dendrite snow crystals, fallen together at my black woolen backdrop. Interesting thing with that couple is that far crystal have almost the same size, shape and structure as near one, and it even sit in wool fibers at same angle! It seems that both snowflakes fall and grow in close proximity to each other, and similar air conditions and changes in temperature and humidity around them caused crystals to grow with similar shape. If you look closely at far crystal, you'll notice some differences in details of arms.

Prints of this double flake available at: Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-1, crystal center details
Crop of snowflake center in full size

And this is version in real colors, without my usual blue color toning. Almost all of my source photos with dark grey woolen background have similar, almost monochromatic grey colors, because in most cases the only light source is diffused light from cloudy winter sky:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-2 - two large snow crystals with similar shape, glittering on dark woolen fabric, real colors version
Snowflake photo: Draft_2-2 (3200 x 2400)

Snowflakes is the crystals of clear transparent ice, and they can take any color, depending of light source and surrounding environment (this gives us a fantastic opportunity to experiment with lighting and backgrounds). Although, when looking from particular angles, snow crystals become white and semi-transparent, or almost opaque (i think, this is because of light scattering: light rays can bounce inside of snow crystal, reflecting from numerous facets). Also, in some cases snowflakes can show us rainbow colors, which produced by prismatic features inside crystals, and even more interesting phenomenon: rainbow colors, created by thin film interference effect (it explained in Wikipedia; this effect also creates rainbow colors in soap bubbles). In relation to the snowflakes, this effect can be seen rarely: it needs interleaved and very thin layers of ice and air inside snow crystal. Here you can see several examples of rainbow snowflakes, that i've encounter during recent winters.

Prints of grey version also available at: Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

Here is next pack of draft snowflakes - catch of March 19, 2013:

Snowflake macro photos: two real snow crystals of stellar dendrite type, glittering on dark background - Alexey Kljatov

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.


  1. I consider you one of the top snowflake photographers in the world, and the fact that you share your techniques makes you even more special. Thanks for all you do with this interesting subject. Also I have to complement you on your English translations. Very well done!

    1. Thank you very much, Loren! Don Komarechka also shares his technique in the book "Sky Crystals: Unraveling the Mysteries of Snowflakes".