Sunday, January 18, 2009


Saturday Night's Fallen Stars

The fallen stars (snowflakes ) above were first noticed by Eden who brought them to our attention . Flakes this size , this regular in shape are quite unusual . Some were more than an eighth of an inch flake tip to flake tip as they lay in their final resting place on a car hood on avenue A . Usually flakes this size are agglomerated numerous smaller flakes creating an amorphous mass . These flakes also persisted for some time holding their distinctive regular hexagonal shapes . We noticed that they lasted well beyond an hour .
When we arrived home we took out a Canon 5D digital camera and mounted a 180mm macro-lens and the Canon macro-flash unit designed to work with this lens . We returned to the street and photographed snowflakes on the hood of a black car .
These images show the star shaped flakes to not be quite so regular as they appear from a distance . Still they are rather spectacular to our mind , we've only rarely seen such before , even in their more revealing up-close portraits . The macro-lens shows that in fact these stars are actually structured of smaller granules of snow that have agglomerated along hexagonal lines preserving the distinct star shape .
The stars vary in dimension from perhaps 1/32 in to 5/32 in .
Today on Jeremiahs Vanishing New York Jeremiah links to a site that pictures single hexagonal water crystals , single barely visible snowflakes . These precise , sharply defined crystals were photographed at Caltech under very carefully controlled environmental conditions through a microscope .
What was so amazing about Saturday nights stars is that they were able to grow so large so nearly perfectly and persist long enough to be photographed using our much cruder means .

I love these photographs--they are very romantic--and beautiful
I've been trying to photograph falling snow all day without success--
Melanie it requires a special lens known as a "macro-lens" and a flash system to go with it. This is expensive($2000 or so) equipment to purchase .

On Vanishing New York Jeremiah links to a site displaying crystals grown and photoed in a lab .This is even more expensive equipment .

What I photoed Sat night was an unusuasl event that made getting pictures of star shaped flakes easy . These flake were unusually large to be as regular in shape as they were . I've not see such flakes often before . The sat Night stars were a special event . thats why I presented them .
Thanks for the lesson/info Bob..this is one of my favorite photos.
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