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Homemade rig captures extreme macro shots of snowflakes

By dpreview staff on Dec 2, 2013 at 08:01 GMT
Homemade rig captures extreme macro shots of snowflakes
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Homemade rig captures extreme macro shots of snowflakes

One of photographer Alexey Kljatov's macro snowflakes images. Learn more about his technique on his blog

Via: Bored Panda, Source: Alexey Kljatov

Comments

Total comments: 186
123
Kirk Sunglieng
By Kirk Sunglieng (1 month ago)

JeffreyJC, Really? Do you always has to be an oddball and question other people creativity?

0 upvotes
Victoria Love
By Victoria Love (2 months ago)

Beautiful. I would love to know what he used to catch the snowflake. Job well done. I enjoyed every picture with amazement :D

0 upvotes
NatsuNinja
By NatsuNinja (3 months ago)

I'm really curious on how he thought of ghetto (but SUPER AWESOME) lens setup.

0 upvotes
Toermalijn
By Toermalijn (3 months ago)

Wow, these snowflakes look almost too perfect. Incredible detail. Great photography. Nature and photography at it's best!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
B Marsh
By B Marsh (4 months ago)

Awesome!!

0 upvotes
JeffreyJC
By JeffreyJC (4 months ago)

1st thought ... WOW
2nd thought ... Amazing

Then l look at some of the other post, pretty much could have copy and pasted from them.

0 upvotes
RedRockRed
By RedRockRed (4 months ago)

Amazing images. Thank you for sharing them.

0 upvotes
Micketto
By Micketto (4 months ago)

Absolutely amazing

1 upvote
raj02
By raj02 (4 months ago)

It's unbelievable shots.
Awesome.

0 upvotes
Waldman Jordaan
By Waldman Jordaan (4 months ago)

Just awesome - thanks for sharing the 'secret life' of snow flakes with us.

2 upvotes
sknippen
By sknippen (4 months ago)

Fantastic. Amazing how every single snowflake is a piece of art. Nice shots...

3 upvotes
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (4 months ago)

As I already wrote as a comment on Alexey’s blog post, I wonder if it’s feasible to use a flatbed scanner to make images of snow flakes. I just checked: A 9600×9600 dpi scanner can be had for less than 200 EUR. Of course, the question is if the mechanics of the scanner work at temperatures below 0 °C.

2 upvotes
franco montana
By franco montana (4 months ago)

Allah is Wonderful... thank you Alexey..

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (4 months ago)

These images create, in me, a suspension between my intellectual notion of these structures (developed from early childhood) and the foreign-feeling beauty in these images - including the suggestion of tangibility in these glassy forms (in small moments where I drift away from thinking of them as snowflakes).

Neat.

1 upvote
LukeLT63
By LukeLT63 (4 months ago)

Fantastic job Mr Alexey Kljatov! My most sincere congratulations! One of the articles of macro photography the most beautiful I've seen on web. You are a genius.
With admiration .... Luke

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Falconest174
By Falconest174 (4 months ago)

Amazing images! I especially thought the truncated triangle and the 'dumbell' were the most unique.

1 upvote
SwedishGoose
By SwedishGoose (4 months ago)

Wow!!!! Simply fantastic results... love these photos

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (4 months ago)

Very inspiring. Not sure how to "zoom in" a prime lens but will try it some time. I tested the lens reversing idea once and found that the wider the focal length the higher the magnification. So with my 16-50mm reversed at 16mm I got a single letter on a coin full frame (APS-C). And that was with the front of the lens right tight to the camera. Now I am inspired to build a marco tube. Thanks! Awesome. Also proves you don't need the best equipment.

0 upvotes
Joe Sesto
By Joe Sesto (4 months ago)

Since the A650 has a 6X zoom range...I'm guessing that he just zooms in as needed. The 50mm is fixed, obviously, but his rig looks like the tape in front of the camera body is possibly able to work like a bellows to allow the zoom to extend or retract...just a guess.

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (4 months ago)

Ahhh! I didn't think about the camera had a zoom lens as well. Thanks for clarifying.

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (4 months ago)

Some great shots.

0 upvotes
es70
By es70 (4 months ago)

some of them look like as something out of space and from another planet. great work Alexey!

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (4 months ago)

Actually the execution and lighting is top notch.

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (4 months ago)

Am i right that diameter of snowflakes are around 1mm or smaller? this reading that 30x is needed on FF-cams.

0 upvotes
Alexey Kljatov
By Alexey Kljatov (4 months ago)

Snowflakes greatly varies in size: common and easily viewed in details with naked eye stellar dendrites can be 3-7 mm in diameter, fernlike stellar dendrites even larger (one day past witer i saw some crystals at whole 1 centimeter). But most interesting, beautiful and unusual snowflakes usually is medium and small ones, 1-4 mm and less (smallest crystals i photographed yet is about 0.2 mm).

8 upvotes
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (4 months ago)

Beyond beautiful. What a concept and execution. Some of the finest photographs ever, on many levels. So many people I have forwarded them to refuse to believe they are real! Congratulations.

0 upvotes
sgwelly
By sgwelly (4 months ago)

Absolutely amazing!

0 upvotes
AVe
By AVe (4 months ago)

Wow, almost surrealistic. Good work!

0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (4 months ago)

Really, really beautiful.

0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (4 months ago)

I understand crystal growth mechanics, but still... to look at these and NOT believe in the hand of a creator!

8 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (4 months ago)

People understanding the mechanics behind this AND believing in a creator is what puzzles me. ;-)

24 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (4 months ago)

the artist is the only 'creator' here, and a methodical and good one at that.
The only logical end to your statement is that beautiful things prove that there is [a] god. Why not see a picture of, I dunno, a shoe, and declare the same thing? Or the opposite. Ridiculous.

Aaaah! Fluffy bunnies. Thank the lord.

14 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (4 months ago)

I see God in a shoe, a hammer, and even ugly things. Random forces don't result in us!

3 upvotes
hrp
By hrp (4 months ago)

when we see a shoe, do we not instantly realize that it has a creator who has had both the power and the intellect to create it ? why not a snow flake ?
i know why: because we are too proud to accept that there are things that we do not understand. believing is beneath us so to speak.

4 upvotes
babola
By babola (4 months ago)

"...i know why: because we are too proud to accept that there are things that we do not understand. believing is beneath us so to speak..."

Come again?

4 upvotes
Y_TANER
By Y_TANER (4 months ago)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Every village must have its headman; every needle must have its manufacturer and craftsman. And, as you know, every letter must be written by someone. How, then, can it be that so extremely well-ordered a kingdom should have no ruler?

The Maker of this world has, then, most important, astounding and secret perfections. It is these He wishes to display by means of His miraculous arts. For secret, flawless perfection wishes to be manifested to those who will appreciate, admire and wonderingly gaze at it. Eternal perfection requires eternal manifestation. Such eternal manifestation in turn requires the perpetual existence of those who are to appreciate and admire it. The value of perfection will always sink in the view of its admirer if he is devoid of perpetual existence. (Risale-i Nur)

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (4 months ago)

Ok. Firstly I don't give a Cr@p about shoes, or anything else that will get misunderstood as the proof of god. It was an example.
"Random Forces Don't result in us"? - There is evidence to say that you're wrong, however poetic you think that sounds.
I don't even know where to begin with @hrp's comment, other than to ask "believing in what?" Physics? Don't confuse belief with trust and faith, especially when you don't [appear to] understand simple concepts of proof vs theology for example.
And lastly, please don't feel the need to send me a private message as Y_Taner did with a load of nonsensical drivel and an abundance of links to god's websites. I don't need to be saved thanks.

10 upvotes
franco montana
By franco montana (4 months ago)

the problem Paul is that the unbeliever is his nature to b that way. they usually mock metaphors such as "God's hands" and "Creator" to mock the existence of such a Creator and to cure their spiritual void, momentarily. Just like a believer prays as if drinking water or breathing oxygen, an unbeliever doubts and ignores to veil his/her guilt, otherwise they collapse like a star in its gravitational black-hole. We live now and here for this particular reason which you wonder about. Peace

1 upvote
jadot
By jadot (4 months ago)

hey Franco, pretty much all of what you said is judgemental and devoid of any structure or argument.

"to cure their spiritual void, momentarily" ? - Mocking, and suggests your "non believer" is lacking, and hasn't yet seen the light. It's a futile and boring approach designed to pacify and make you feel better about yourself.
I couldn't care less. What your useless statement avoids is what "it" is that a 'non-believer' (love that) is supposed to be missing?
It's the answer that thousands of religions have yet failed to come up with. Why is that?
Far from ignoring the subject, I'm fascinated by it. I don't feel guilty - I haven't done anything wrong and I love life in so many beautiful ways, and I haven't collapsed into a Black Hole.
Are you referring to Karma, or is that a different religion?

Can you tell me what the hell you're talking about?

5 upvotes
Marcus Snufkin
By Marcus Snufkin (3 months ago)

I thought this was a PHOTOGRAPHY forum, not a THEOLOGICAL discussion.

0 upvotes
nathantw
By nathantw (4 months ago)

Wow! Those are fantastic. Thank you. I particularly like #9. I'm sure I'll be seeing that design on some company's window or plate now.

0 upvotes
oahn
By oahn (4 months ago)

This just proves it once again... The difference between artists and the rest.

From those who are filled with ego and think they are the best... to those who can shoot only one particular way and therefore, are only the best at that one style, to those who hide behind piles of expensive gear as if that would get them into the club, to those who simply shouldn't be calling themselves photographers just because they own a camera.

Here you have old school ingenuity and the kind of masterful results that come of it.

Bravo Alexey, thank you for sharing this!

15 upvotes
Searching
By Searching (4 months ago)

Well written, I totally agree, yes +1 Bravo Alexey.

0 upvotes
tzilber
By tzilber (4 months ago)

One word.
Magnificent.

0 upvotes
Dpreviewmember
By Dpreviewmember (4 months ago)

Thanks Alexey for the beautiful photos and for taking the time to explain how to make them, something we rarely see here on DPR.
You are an artist and a teacher.

0 upvotes
Peter Lacus
By Peter Lacus (4 months ago)

beautiful work Master Photographer Alexey!

0 upvotes
Andrew Butterfield
By Andrew Butterfield (4 months ago)

Reminded me of the work of Don Komarechka.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (4 months ago)

There are so many people unable to snap off a sensible street photo even with the latest tech available, and here we see what can be done with old glass and a bit of duct tape.
One can rarely see a better example of the basic truth in photography: it was, it is, and alway will be 90% author and 10% equipment.

9 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (4 months ago)

and another basic truth : ductape fixes everything

9 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (4 months ago)

Great.

0 upvotes
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

These are bad, because they were not captrured with a FF camera. The bokeh is ugly and the DoF is not shallow enough.
:-D :-D :-D

9 upvotes
Boris F
By Boris F (4 months ago)

Amazing!

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (4 months ago)

Very impressive. I like to see people hack up old gears to make something fantastic.

2 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (4 months ago)

Thumbs up!

0 upvotes
.Sam.
By .Sam. (4 months ago)

links 9-13 are broken

2 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (4 months ago)

Seems to be working for me.

Amazing shots!

0 upvotes
nathantw
By nathantw (4 months ago)

Try using the arrow within the picture instead of clicking on the numbers below the picture. I was getting sent to a link when clicking the numbers too. Once I used the arrows within the pictures it worked fine.

0 upvotes
bilmenot
By bilmenot (4 months ago)

Reverse ring is not new, but hardly any people use it these days, lighting and reflection is difficult problem to solve in extreme close up shots, awesome shots those are !!

1 upvote
Ronan_M
By Ronan_M (4 months ago)

UNREAL!. Simply stunning, not to mention that it was done with "consumer' gear. Hats off to everyone making beautiful pictures and maxing out their gear (I know I'm not!)

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (4 months ago)

Some of the most impressive studios I've seen have employed copious amounts of duct tape, zip ties, plywood, and modest-level gear. The idea of high level art photography being dependent on astronomical sums of money spent on the "best" equipment is just a myth; there are a wide range of approaches. I hope young photographers don't get too caught up in DXOMarks (interesting as they may be) and just go out and develop an art methodology that works for them.

6 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (4 months ago)

Yeah, young photographers should try a reverse-mounted Helios 58mm lens on their camera phone...

1 upvote
jf_tea
By jf_tea (4 months ago)

Amazing pictures of hidden beauty in ordinary things !
And, wonderful example of advanced technique with relatively simple equipment.
So, it's 10 / 10 or, even, 12 / 10 ;)

PS: i'll have to look again at snow flakes again.
Winter is just starting.

1 upvote
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (4 months ago)

Very impressive. Just fantastic

0 upvotes
ob33315
By ob33315 (4 months ago)

Wow, really amazing how great these images are.

Please, no need for religious rhetoric on DP Review...just a thought.

0 upvotes
PeakAction
By PeakAction (4 months ago)

That is an Imperial flake.

0 upvotes
KodaChrome25
By KodaChrome25 (4 months ago)

Just beautiful images Alexey.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (4 months ago)

wow that look like its tough to pull off. working at that mag and to have something so so delicate :0

0 upvotes
Mario G
By Mario G (4 months ago)

Amazing photos, and impressive magnification from what looks like such a simple optics setup.
Anybody knows whether you can get similar results by putting a reversed cheap Canon/Nikon 50mm F1.8 in front of a M43 camera with standard kit zoom?

0 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (4 months ago)

Why not try it?

0 upvotes
Mario G
By Mario G (4 months ago)

Because I would need to fork out £80 just to try that, for something that I wouldn't really be able to use otherwise :)

0 upvotes
Madaboutpix
By Madaboutpix (4 months ago)

Wow, I've seen cool shots of snowflakes here and there, but these here are certainly stunning. The sheer beauty of Mother Nature. H2O and frost, maybe a little grass, period. And the unexpected variety of those crystal "designs". Ignorant as I was about this microcosm, I would've thought that snow crystals are pretty uniform. Well, they aren't. Thanks for teaching us, Alexey!

BTW, somehow, for no particular reason, I can't shake the feeling that Alexey's ingenious rig is much more to do with "purist" photography than the latest fashion for retro-style cameras (nice as some of those may be) ...

3 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (4 months ago)

Yes and no. The articles are a fascinating read, using averaging, de-noising, sharpening, etc., multiple shots to get the clarity and impact from the consumer gear. The "simplicity" feels like old school, but this is really high tech, and lots of PP work. (and all to make it look "natural")

0 upvotes
LiSkynden
By LiSkynden (4 months ago)

Wow, i looked at the pic of the camera before reading and i was like "isnt that my trusted old timer Canon 650IS" :D

0 upvotes
Total comments: 186
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