We know that winter has just ended, but we’ve just stumbled upon some amazing macros of snowflakes and we had to share them. I am sure that you will be amazed at these beautiful photographs taken by the Russian photographer Andrew Osokin. If you haven’t heard about him yet, you should know that he has a magnificent gallery filled with macros of insects, flowers, water and snow. Although they might look like computer generated images, because they are so perfect and beautiful, these shots were actually taken right before each snowflake started to melt away.
Snowflakes are nothing more than ice, but some of the shapes they take are amazing, and because they are formed by many combinations of ice crystals, there is an infinite number of forms that they can take. There are even some scientists who are trying to determine in what conditions a snowflake will take a certain shape.
Kenneth Libbrecht, professor at the Californian Institute of Technology believes that we have to understand the dynamics of crystal forming before we jump to conclusions, and he is actually thinking of „growing” snowflakes of his own. He started by analyzing, in detail, each type of snowflake, and his conclusion is that temperature, climate and winds affect the way that it evolves. He actually came up with a diagram to support this theory. After more studies, he also understood that location can also determine the shape of a snowflake. And this brings us bag to photography.
If you are thinking of taking macros of snowflakes you should know that, because ice is transparent, light is very important. If the photo subject isn’t lighted properly, it will be almost invisible to the camera. You can try to use different colors for the light, and as a result you will obtain breath-taking results. Kenneth says that as long as the light is interesting, the photo will be beautiful.
Snowflakes form as they fall to the ground, once they touch the ground they stop growing, and almost all of the times, it takes about a few minutes for them to melt away. It is incredible how nature is capable of such short lived miracles.
Why is it so important to study snowflakes? Doctor Libbrecht explains that by studying them, we can apply the knowledge obtained in other fields like the condensation of certain solid substances. It can also become useful in the field of nanotechnology and semiconductors, where researchers are trying to obtain pieces by spontaneous assembly, and it seems that snowflakes have a natural spontanous assembly system.
For more breath-taking macro photography and beautiful little things check out the Magical Waterdrops.