These breathtaking snowflake macros prove it’s the photographer that matters, not their gear


posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:40 PM EST


Winter might not quite have arrived yet, but in the eastern half of the United States, you could be fooled into thinking otherwise, with unseasonably cold weather bringing the lowest temperature so far this fall -- and for many of us, the first snow of the year. It seems rather appropriate to match the icy weather with some truly spectacular macro photographs of snowflakes which we spotted on Twisted Sifter earlier today.

Shot by Moscow-based photographer Alexey Kljatov, the 68-photo series includes some of the most breathtakingly beautiful depictions of snowflakes in all their many shapes and sizes that we've ever seen. We can't begin to imagine how much work must have gone into their creation -- most of the images consist of at least seven or eight stacked raw files, and some took many more -- but the results most definitely prove that effort worthwhile. (And they really do prove the old saw about there being no two snowflakes the same. There's an amazing contrast between the complexity of some flakes, and the simplicity of others. Both strike us as equally beautiful, in their own way.)


Helpfully, Alexey shares detailed information on his shooting techniques in a post on his personal blog. You might think that images like this were shot with a fortune in pro gear, but the very opposite is true: A five year old Canon PowerShot A650 IS point-and-shoot attached with a custom bracket to an old Zenit Helios 44M-5 lens. Nor did Alexey use a complicated lighting setup, or a climate-controlled studio to shoot the images -- they were captured on his balcony with either a glass or woolen fabric backdrop, and natural or LED light.

You can see a few more of our favorites from Alexey's gallery below, and you'll find many more on his Flickr snowflake album. And he's not just a talented snowflake photographer, either --  take a look at his main Flickr page to get a taste for some of his other works, including some superb insect macros, light painting, and much more besides.


Can't wait for winter to be here, and can't get enough of its icy creations? Perhaps you'll enjoy another set of snowflake macros we posted last year, or go really close-up with some snowflake pics shot with a low-temperature scanning electronic microscope.

(via Twisted Sifter)