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Photographer Crafts Special Camera To Capture Delicate Snowflakes in the Highest Resolution Ever

Disir

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Everyone knows that snowflakes are unique arrays of tiny crystals—no two are precisely the same. However, capturing the unique designs of snowflakes using photography can be very tricky. Snowflakes are easily disfigured with the slightest warmth or touch, so renowned photographer Nathan Myhrvold had to develop a specialized camera when he decided to shoot the most technically advanced images of snowflakes ever attempted. As a photographer, chef, and founder of Modernist Cuisine, Myhrvold's years of experience in food photography prepared him with the speed, innovation, and technical skill for this challenge. With his purpose-built camera, he captured stunning images of delicate snowflakes at the highest resolution to date.

To get these perfect shots—available now as prints at the Modernist Cuisine Gallery—many factors had to be perfectly calibrated. To avoid melting or sublimation of the snowflakes, the images were shot on location in Fairbanks, Alaska and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Myhrvold used a special camera of his own design. He combined the magnifying power of a microscopic lens (as typically used in snowflake photography) with a specially designed optical path. This path allowed the lens to channel its image to a medium-format digital sensor—which provided the stunningly high level of resolution. In addition, the camera featured a cooling stage upon which the tiny specimens could rest. With LED short-pulse lights and a shutter speed of less than 500 microseconds, Myhrvold was able to capture multiple images of each snowflake at different focal lengths. These images were then stacked to create the final image.

The pictures are pretty cool looking. I wish I had that kind of talent.
 

iamwhatiseem

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WHat is interesting to me, is why are the crystals multi-mirrored? Each crystal module is a replica of all the others in that particular snowflake.
A different snowflake will have quite different crystal formations, but be a replica of the others for that flake.
 

Anomalism

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How do people know that no two snowflakes are alike? Have they seen them all throughout all time?

It gets pedantic. Lots of snowflakes look extremely similar but on a molecular level would not be exactly the same.
 

Canon Shooter

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While there's no doubt this is cool, people have been producing ridiculously detailed photographs of snowflakes for a long time. Google "snowflake pics" and you'll find a lot...
 
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Disir

Disir

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While there's no doubt this is cool, people have been producing ridiculously detailed photographs of snowflakes for a long time. Google "snowflake pics" and you'll find a lot...
Yabut, did they develop their own camera?
 
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Disir

Disir

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Canon Shooter

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While there's no doubt this is cool, people have been producing ridiculously detailed photographs of snowflakes for a long time. Google "snowflake pics" and you'll find a lot...
Yabut, did they develop their own camera?

That I have no idea...
Well, me neither and it's more exciting for me because I'm not an expert. You're the expert.

I guess my view on it is this:

People have been taking photographs like his for a long time.

Did the camera need to be developed to get these kinds of photos? Well, no, it didn't. That much is obvious.

But it's still cool, primarily because he wasn't creating the image on film or on the sensor of a DSLR. He's creating the image with a medium format sensor, and that's where the biggest differences come in, resolution-wise...
 

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