While we've often heard the saying, “No two snowflakes are alike,” we could never fully appreciate that statement, or visualize it, until now.
While many photographers will try and capture the natural beauty of a snowflake by using a macro lens, not many are able to show it with crystal clear precision like Don Komarechka. The Ontario, Canada-based photographer uses macro equipment but he's also become quite skilled at a focus stacking technique that takes his snowflake photos to the next level. As he states, “The process is unlike most other photographers who shoot snowflakes, and allows me to play with prismatic color and surface reflections to a much greater degree.”
During post processing, Komarechkha takes the multiple images he's shot at different focus distances and merges them together. For the photo above, which he calls 12-Sided Shimmer, the photographer used 45 separate frames while for the one immediately below Komarechka stacked 34 separate frames to bring out all the tiny details in this incredibly small 3.9mm snowflake.
While reading about Komarechka's full process, we learned one extremely fun fact. The black background all of his snowflakes are on is actually just a plain black mitten he received from his grandmother years ago. As he states, “This is so I can have a dark background, and because the snowflakes get caught in the fibers and bring the background out of focus. It also serves as an insulator, preventing the snowflake from melting on contact. I've searched everywhere for a better surface, and I keep coming back to the black mitten.”
If you love macro photos of snowflakes, make sure to also check out Moscow-based photographer Andrew Osokin's.