Snowflake Menagerie

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Here's a close-up from a larger image that showcases the details contained inside. I know everyone doesn't zoom in, so this would appears a little better in the stream. Even still - view large and zoom in!

While large snowflakes can contain plenty of cool features, don't under-estimate the little guys! Regardless of size, these ice crystals all bring something interesting to the image.

The largest snowflake is a "double decker" design. It's growing on two planes connected by a "skeletal form" type of interior. This can happen when a hexagonal plate grows cavities on the thin sides due to the branching instability, and those cavities normally form bubbles. In this case, they split the crystal into two new halves, each becoming their own branched plate. They're still part of the same crystal, but can have very different growth patterns.

The right side of the image contains some colourful bits, with colour caused by both chromatic aberration (very slight green and magenta colours) as well as thin film interference. The thin film interference is the most interesting, creating some of the more vibrant colours... such fun to capture the details of images like this!

Creating the image is quite tricky. Because of the multiple snowflakes and multiple depths, focus-stacking required a bit more attention than usual. I wasn't watching the clock closely, but about five hours has gone into this snowflake. The entire uncropped image can be found here:

For more snowflake images and all the related science, check out the Sky Crystals book: - shipping now!

Ahmad J. Awad, cunningba, and 56 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. linden.g 58 months ago | reply

    Great. complexity and colors Dom

  2. Susan Liepa 58 months ago | reply

    Amazing and beautiful...

  3. lily-girl 58 months ago | reply

    totally mesmerizing !....really beyond words..!... the intricate & mysterious powers of creations ! Love it !
    (& hope to soon get a copy of your book)....wishing you great success with it !

  4. andreasgilgenberg 58 months ago | reply

    really amazing!
    thank you for the work

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