Sky Crystals
March 22, 2013 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Photographer Don Komarechka uses a complicated process of focus stacking to extend the depth of field of his unbelievably beautiful extreme macro photographs of snowflakes. [via]

Fun fact: All the photographs are taken on a black mitten given to him by his grandmother .
posted by quin (9 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
posted by iamkimiam at 8:03 AM on March 22, 2013

"You may want to adjust the angle of your snowflake to get the best image"

Also, this part amused me in several ways.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:05 AM on March 22, 2013

Really nice.
posted by 0 answers at 8:49 AM on March 22, 2013

This post needs a "special snowflake details inside."
posted by yoink at 9:19 AM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]

This guy works his ass off to get these images, and they are worth it.
posted by tommyD at 2:33 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow, just wow.
posted by Mcable at 3:13 PM on March 22, 2013

Focus stacking? Focus stacking!!!!1!!!11!ll!

Oh hell, this is a technique I played with many years ago and I didn't know it was a thing. I did it on a large scale, like landscape photography. I called it hyperfocal overlapping. The whole technique was so difficult and tedious, and so demoralizing that I could not get the effects I wanted, that I actually gave up on photography for many years.

Recently I studied 3D techniques in Maya, including a lot of techniques that are really close to focus stacking. They don't really have a name, but are something like depth-map z-stacking. This technique could be really useful in typical 3D work where there are often many rendering passes that are composited together for the final work.

Have I got a lot of work to do.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:19 PM on March 22, 2013

There's quite a long video here, The Photoshop Show 15, where he pretty much goes through the whole editing process.
posted by lucidium at 6:21 AM on March 23, 2013

Capturing beauty so sublime that it vanishes with a warm breath has always been a photographic challenge. From Photographing Snowflakes by Wilson A. Bently (1922), Popular Mechanics Magazine, Vol. 37, pages 309-312:
Ordinary daylight, coming through a window, is used for illuminating the crystal after it has been placed on a microscope slide, a tiny beam of light entering through the small aperture in the substage of the instrument. The apparatus is placed indoors, near by and facing a window. The room, the apparatus, and its accessories should always be away from any source of artificial heat, and at a temperature approximately that of the outside air. The necessary accessories are an observation microscope, a pair of thick mittens, microscope slides, a sharp-pointed wooden splint, a feather, and a turkey wing or similar duster; also, an extra focusing back for the camera, containing clear glass instead of the usual ground glass, with a magnifying lens attached; this is used for final focusing. A blackboard, about 1 ft. square, with stiff wire or metal handles at the ends, so that the hands will not touch and warm it, is used to collect the specimens. As it is necessary to cover the end of the microscope objective with a strip of black card, that takes the place of the usual camera shutter which controls the duration of exposure, it is necessary to fit two vertical rods at each side of the microscope tube to hold the card.
More at Snowflake Bently.
posted by cenoxo at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2013

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