Technology 29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig

15:06  03 january  2017
15:06  03 january  2017 Source:   Tech Insider

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Snowflake macro photography Alexey Kljatov 22 © Provided by Business Insider Inc Snowflake macro photography Alexey Kljatov 22

Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov is a master of snowflake photography. After using a homemade rig with inexpensive equipment to take stunning close-ups, Kljatov's snowflake photos went viral in 2013.

But he hasn't stopped capturing amazing photos, and now his images are more stunning than ever. Kljatov shared new photos with INSIDER, and thanks to his extensive "how-to" blog post, we learned more about the process behind the images.

Keep reading for a look at the amazing snowflake crystals and to learn more about how Kljatov works his magic.

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After using a homemade rig with inexpensive equipment to take stunning close - ups , Kljatov’s snowflake photos went viral in 2013. His post on snowflake macro photography goes into helpful detail about his camera , lens, and photo-processing techniques.

Alexey KljatovRussian photographer Alexey Kljatov is a master of snowflake photography. After using a homemade rig with inexpensive equipment to. Kim Renfro Science Dec. 29 , 2016, 12:49 AM.

Kljatov was inspired to try his own snowflake photography after seeing a website called "Snow Crystals" created by a CalTech physics professor named Kenneth Libbrecht.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Check out the original "Snow Crystals" website here.

At first Kljatov believed it was impossible for amateurs to capture photos like these without expensive equipment.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

"Now I know that this is completely wrong!" he wrote. "Every photographer with simple point-and-shoot camera can take very good snowflake pictures."

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Kljtatov uses what's called a "lens reversal macro technique" with a compact Canon Powershot A650is camera and a lens called the Helios 44M-5.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Read his full explanation of the rig and set up on his blog.

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Alexey KljatovRussian photographer Alexey Kljatov is a master of snowflake photography. After using a homemade rig with inexpensive equipment to. Kim Renfro Science Dec. 29 , 2016, 12:49 AM.

Alexey KljatovRussian photographer Alexey Kljatov is a master of snowflake photography. After using a homemade rig with inexpensive equipment to. Kim Renfro Science Dec. 29 , 2016, 12:49 AM.

Here's what his rig looks like:

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

His favorite "background" is a dark woolen fabric, like the ones we've been showing you so far.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

"Against this background, snowflakes look very impressive," he wrote. "Like precious gems in a jewelry store."

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

But he also uses a glass background to capture the snowflakes in a different light.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

For these he uses a piece of glass that rests on the legs of an overturned stool.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

You'd never expect such amazing results from the homemade set up.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

For the lighting, he puts a flashlight nearby and uses colored glass patterns to create a subtle background of pinks or yellows.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

The result is a gorgeous silhouette of the snowflake that looks almost unreal.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Once the glass sheet is completely covered with snowflakes, Kljatov wipes it clean with a dry towel and starts over.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

For both photo types, Kljatov actually took a series of pictures of the same snowflake.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Then he aligned all the images on top of each other.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

This is called "averaging," and helps to reveal more details that might be missed in a single picture.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Kljatov said he usually takes 8 to 10 pictures of each snowflake.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

But for "more interesting and beautiful crystals" he sometimes snaps 16 or more pictures before averaging them.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Kljatov's "studio" is simply the open balcony at his home.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Half of the balcony is covered by a roof, so he can shoot either out in the open as snow is falling lightly or under the roof if its heavier.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

"I'm lucky that I have such a nice place where nobody disturbs me," Kljatov wrote. "And I can return into house when I freeze."

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Though he says a good snowfall in Moscow can be rare, it's always worth the wait.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

"For this type of photography, patience, persistence and luck mean much more than any expensive photo technique," he wrote.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

We love the small imperfections he captures — like the tiny snowflake connected to this larger one seen below.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Or the super delicate edges of this one — which looks like it might melt at any second.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

The translucent crystal seen here looks awesome with a purple background.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

And the hexagonal pattern of this one is pretty neat.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Here's another shot of two snowflakes that buddied up.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

And a frosty lil' fella whose six prongs look almost fuzzy.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

Last but not least, this snowflake is three dimensional in the coolest way.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

To learn more about Kljatov's snowflake photography, head to his blog.

  29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig © Provided by Business Insider Inc

His post on snowflake macro photography goes into helpful detail about his camera, lens, and photo-processing techniques.

"Even after eight winters of regular photo sessions, seeing thousands of snowflakes in all their details, I do not get tired to admire [sic] new crystals with amazing form or an incredible inner pattern," Kljatov said.

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