Macro snowflake photographs, captured with a DIY reversed lens setup
November 18, 2013 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Alexey Kljatov takes some rather nice macro photos of snowflakes on the open balcony of his house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by LED flashlight from opposite side of glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background. He recently detailed his camera set-up, featuring an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and an old USSR-made Helios lense, taped to a board. Reverse mounting is nothing new, but it's usually done with reverse-mounting rings.
posted by filthy light thief (14 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, these are awesome! Individual snowflakes and their original shapes are right up there with rainbows in my personal category of "don't even try to explain them to me, I think it's magic".
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:08 PM on November 18, 2013


This one seems to dispute that saying about no two being alike...
posted by ShutterBun at 9:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now those are special snowflake details!
posted by spitbull at 12:33 AM on November 19, 2013


Ah...makes today's snow showers and -33 windchill here in Fort St. John more bearable.
posted by salishsea at 12:38 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's got some pretty brilliant ideas regarding noise reduction. Averaging multiple shots is common; blowing all shots up, aligning them at uprezzed size then shrinking everything down--to get sub-pixel alignment--is a pretty good idea.

Also, very pretty shots!
posted by notsnot at 5:39 AM on November 19, 2013


Wow, these are very cool.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:16 AM on November 19, 2013


This guy's methodology is pretty inspiring.
posted by cellphone at 6:50 AM on November 19, 2013


Wow! These are amazing.
posted by marginaliana at 8:02 AM on November 19, 2013


I was hoping for more hoarfrost, but pretty great nevertheless.
posted by Betty Tyranny at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2013


notsnot: "He's got some pretty brilliant ideas regarding noise reduction. Averaging multiple shots is common; blowing all shots up, aligning them at uprezzed size then shrinking everything down--to get sub-pixel alignment--is a pretty good idea."

You can do basically that by using software designed for reducing noise in video. The better packages do this by tracking motion in the image, compensating for it (with subpixel precision), and then averaging the results together. You could just load your separate photos as an image sequence into software like this. Software I know of that does this includes, in descending order of quality The Foundry's Nuke (I think it requires NukeX or a separate Furnace license), DaVinci Revival, and DaVinci Resolve.

Nuke also does superresolution scaling based on several frames. Basically, this uses several frames shot of the same thing, but with some movement (slow panning/tilting works best) to extract subpixel data and use it to generate a higher-resolution image from the combined frames. It works surprisingly well.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:49 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, this guy is good at what he does. He also takes non-shitty HDR photos, where he combines HDR and stacking for noise reduction (four shots at each exposure). It's very nice looking stuff.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2013


What no come on those are fake, totally fake you guys
posted by Mooseli at 11:42 AM on November 19, 2013


Can anyone explain to me in detail why snowflakes are often rotationally symmetric? I understand why they have a hexagonal lattice crystal shalt based on the molecular structure of water, but when I tried to good search for an explanation of the order three or six rotational symmetry, all I found was vague stuff about electrons and energy levels.
posted by mai at 11:56 AM on November 19, 2013


PBS: The Science of Snowflakes
Temperature and humidity are the two main factors that influence how the crystalline structure forms. If the temperature and humidity level changes, so does the growth pattern of the crystal.
There's more details and a diagram of how snowflakes form in various conditions.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:16 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


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