It’s been snowing in West Michigan these last few days, as winter makes a belated entrance. And of course, I’ve been out trying to get a few good snow flake photographs.
While the temperatures have been colder (but not very cold) and the snow has been falling, it’s dlear that winter is waning. The days are already noticeably longer, and the trees and bushes are starting to bud out – perhaps a bit early due to the warm weather of the last few months, but then not far off schedule.
I’ve been using my older digital camera – the Pentax *ist-D – for the snow crystal shots, simply because it supports the older style TTL flash, that will work with a reverse mounted lens on bellows and extension tubes. The newer K10D camera requires a lens that it is communicating with the camera body via contacts on the lens mount in order for the TTL flash to work.
While I’ve had a chance to get out an do some shooting, the snowcrystals have been a bit a lackluster so far this year. So far we’ve seen an abundance of small, sleety pellets (really uninteresting to photograph) or large, frosty, effervescent flakes that lack almost all detail and crystal structure.
There have been a few interesting specimens though. I’ve seen at least two new 12 armed crystals (one of which is shown here) and possibly a third – I say “possibly” because it might just be two 6 armed crystals that happened to get stuck together in the center. It’s hard to say. (One of the 12 armed crystals is not shown, simply because it landed on the glass plate at an angle and so the photo of it is pretty poor – but good enough o show 12 distinct dendrites.)
The other interesting subject is a capped column crystal – a wee tiny thing that landed on the glass plate today, scarcely 1 mm long along the long axis. I slapped on all the extension I could find, and shot away at it – still getting a small image in the finder but an interesting (and for me unique) shot nonetheless.
Otherwise it’s been the same old stuff. I’ve been taking photographs of snowflakes in my garage since 1999. Since then I’ve only had four or five productive sessions in February, and only one or two in March. So if history is any indicator, this season will be coming to end just as it has gotten started. But then – who knows – maybe history isn’t an indicator, and if climate change is really happening, maybe history is really just bunk at this time.
Well – I’ll be watching for more snow crystals in the next several weeks, counting down the days till spring and summer.
Somehow a fruit fly seems to always be buzzing around my monitor – I’m not sure where it comes from (and since its been around for weeks it can’t be the same individual) – perhaps they are coming from the plants I brought in from the yard. But at any rate, it’s just a spec, but a tiny reminder that the insect photography season will be here in a wink of an eye.
Very inspiring! My research suggests a connection between the geometry of snow crystals and of music. I build musical instruments based on this geometry, hence the name ’shapeofmusic’. I also found that a liquid surface vibrated by music forms a pattern of hexagons, the size of which varies according to the frequency of the notes.
Love seeing your hard-won photographs, and appreciate your persistence in perfecting your photographic processes
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