Stars in my pocket like grains of sand

Snowflake macro photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand, cluster of two stellar dendrite snowflakes with complex and elegant structure
Snowflake photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand (2560 x 1920)

I borrow this title from sci-fi book, written by amazing author Samuel R. Delany.

This is tiny cluster of two stellar dendrite snowflakes: large and medium size. It was flat, and perfectly fits in focus without focus stacking technique. I like star shapes and elegant structure of this pair, and their sharp edges, without any traces of melting.

7 identical RAW photos was taken as fast series, aligned and averaged to improve SNR (signal/noise ratio) of this picture. I've used only diffused light of cloudy sky, dark grey wool fabric as background; and macro setup, containing Canon Powershot A650is and lens Helios 44, reversely mounted in front of camera as additional magnifier.

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

Here is slightly different version: without my usual blue color toning. As you can see, completely grey wool fabric shows color variances at high magnification:

Snowflake macro photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand (grey), pair of stellar dendrite snowflakes with complex structure, glowing on dark grey background
Snowflake photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand, grey variant (2560 x 1920)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

And this is version with blur background. I've done it easily, because already had precise isolation mask, created at early processing stage:

Snowflake macro photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand (blur), two stellar dendrite snowflakes with complex structure, glittering on dark cyan blurred background
Snowflake photo: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand, blur variant (2000 x 2000)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

Here is another stellar dendrite snowflake, also taken at dark textured backdrop, and processed in same technique:

Snowflake picture: Rigel - stellar dendrite snow crystal with sharp ornate arms, glowing on dark cyan textured background

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Collection of fernlike dendrite snowflakes

Fernlike dendrites are common, large and traditional-looking snowflakes. In fact, snow crystals of this type are so big, that many of them can be seen in all details with naked eye, without any magnification tools (especially at contrast background like black wool mitten). I see and photograph huge specimens of this type at regular basis - up to 10 millimeters in size and even bigger! These snowflakes have very small center, and long, complex and massive arms: with many side branches, and lots of icy "petals" and "leaves" on them. These crystals are fragile, and often broke in air, when collide with neighbor snowflakes. In my photo archive, i keep lots of these wonderful crystals, but processing them is hard task: my workflow requires drawing precise mask, which isolates snowflake from background (to be able processing crystal and background separately), and drawing good mask for their complex shape is not easy work.

Here is already processed snowflakes. When i'll process new crystals of this type, i will immediately add here links to them, too. Just click on photos you like, and they will open as full resolution versions:

Snowflake macro photo: Majestic crystal, very big and complex fernlike dendrite with lots of side branches and good symmetry, sparkling on bright gray-blue gradient backgroundCloseup snowflake photo: Asymmetriad, medium size fernlike dendrite snow crystal with relatively simple structure, glittering on light brown-blue gradient background
Snowflake picture: Neon, real snow crystal of fernlike dendrite type, glowing on dark cyan background in LED back lightSnowflake image: Leaves of ice, huge fernlike dendrite snow crystal with tree-like arms, containing many side branches and icy leaves
Snowflake photo: Winter is coming, large fernlike dendrite with traditional look and feel and nice symmetry, sparkling on pale grey-blue gradient backgroundPicture of snowflake: Cloud number 9, very big fernlike dendrite snow crystal, standing on edge against clear blue background and reflected in glass

Here you'll find similar collection with small and simple hexagonal plate snowflakes:

Four hexagonal plate snowflakes: small snow crystal with simple hexagon shape and amazing inner patterns

If you want to see all of my snowflake photos, you may browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Sunflower

Snowflake macro photo: Sunflower, unusual snow crystal with large, flat and empty central hexagon, relief outer rim and short arms with ridges, sparkling on bright blue-grey gradient background
Snowflake photo: Sunflower (1600 x 1200)

Very interesting snowflake: with big and flat central hexagon (almost without any features), relief outer rim and arms with many ridges - quite unusual combination. This is medium size snow crystal, just 3 millimeters from tip to tip; but that large and empty center was easily noticeable even with naked eye, and it instantly attract my attention. This snowflake remind me sunflower: with short, broad icy "petals" and inner "lines of seeds".

8 identical RAW photos, taken as quick series, was averaged to boost signal-to-noise ratio of this picture. Snowflake was captured on glass background with LED back light, with additional lens Helios 44M-5, in Moscow, Russia.

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

This is version in alternate colors:

Snowflake image: Sunflower golden, real snow crystal with big and flat center and six relief arms with ridges, glittering on smooth blue-yellow background
Snowflake photo: Sunflower golden (1600 x 1200)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

I already processed two more snowflakes from same amazing snowfall of January 3, 2016: Winter fortress and Serenity:

Closeup snowflake photo: Winter fortress, small sectored plate snow crystal with complex relief surface, divided by rows to six sectors, sparkling on gray-blue gradient backgroundSnowflake image: Serenity - large hexagonal plate crystal with high tech look and feel, glittering on pale blue gradient background

And here is another snowflake from previous winter: Dusty mirror - it slightly remind me new one: this crystal also have big and flat central hexagon, where only visible feature is pattern of tiny dots, relief outer rim and short arms with nice details:

Closeup snowflake picture: Dusty mirror, real snow crystal with turtle-like shape and dense ring pattern with hundreds of tiny dots around center

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Harlequin snowflakes

For these two pictures, i've used blending mode difference again, for subtracting original background (smooth blue / gray gradient) and revealing snowflake with all details on pure black. This time, i've divided picture by two halfs, and replaced one with part of original photo; and picked two small hexagonal plate crystals as sources:

Snowflake picture: Harlequin snowflake, tiny hexagonal plate crystal with pattern, resembling scratch, divided by two halfs with normal and black processing
Snowflake picture: Harlequin (1024 x 768)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.

Snowflake picture: Harlequin snowflake II, small hexagonal plate with high tech pattern, divided by two halfs with normal and black processing
Snowflake picture: Harlequin II (1200 x 900)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.

Previously, i've applied same technique on two medium size snowflakes and two large and complex fernlike dendrites.

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Neon snowflakes

This is my next effort to completely change look and feel of snowflake photos, captured on glass surface. I already applied this technique to two large fernlike dendrites, and now it's time for two smaller snow crystals with relatively simple structure: High voltage and Ice relief:

Snowflake macro photo: High voltage III, snow crystal with short and broad arms, resembling duck's feet, in blue - cyan light, isolated on black background
Snowflake picture: High voltage III (1600 x 1200)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

Snowflake macro photo: Ice relief III, snow crystal with beautiful relief surface in green - orange light, isolated on black background
Snowflake picture: Ice relief III (1600 x 1200)

Prints available at Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

This processing is really simple, though it also requires some time. I use difference blending mode to separate snowflake details from background (it looks like subtracting clean background from snowflake). Here is original photos:

Snowflake picture: High voltage, big snow crystal with large broad arms and relief surface, glittering on pale gradient background in LED back lightSnowflake image: Ice relief, real snow crystal with beautiful geometric pattern and glossy relief surface, sparkling on bright blue-gray gradient background

I like difference blending very much: often it can be used to create very interesting effects and colors. You can see another example of it's abilities: Mirror's edge, picture of snowflake in vivid colors, caused by blending two variants of same crystal, processed in different colors:

Snowflake collage: Mirror's Edge, two copies of same snow crystal, glowing on rainbow gradient background

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Artist website is ready

Artist website alexey-kljatov.pixels.com is ready and fully functional:

Artist website alexey-kljatov.pixels.com offers high quality photo, frame and art prints, and also posters, greeting cards, tote bags, iPhone and Galaxy phone cases
Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee. Products delivered to any destination in the world.

Some HDR photos is not uploaded yet, but my best snowflake, macro and still life pictures are here.

Website powered by FineArtAmerica, one of the largest, most-respected giclee printing companies in the world with over 40 years of experience producing museum-quality prints. All prints are produced on state-of-the-art, professional-grade Epson printers. Site have exactly same content, and almost the same functionality as it's mirrors at Pixels.com and FineArtAmerica.com, but have some important advantages.

It's fast. In my tests, main page loads twice as fast as same page on Pixels.com profile. Also, website have nice customization abilities, and it's look and feel can be changed dramatically. For this moment, however, i've selected default color scheme, but spent many time on photo and text content.

Website, also as FineArtAmerica.com and Pixels.com, offers money-back guarantee for every purchase.

This website will be my main print-on-demand place, though some additional products also available at RedBubble.com.

If anyone interested, i glad to offer one-month 100% discount. That not means free prints, however: my commission will be zero, but discount does not apply to manufacturer's materials, print process and delivery. Here is it, 6-symbol code: LSVXZY. On final stage of ordering any product, there is special field for discount codes:

Alexey Kljatov artist website: marked field for discount codes

Snowflake draft #2

This is quick update of Snowflake draft series, before i'll continue digging archives from recent winter. This photo was taken January 18, 2013: very first winter when i start to use lens Helios 44 as additional magnifier, and assembled my current snowflake macro setup. I needed this picture of snowflake for side project, and spent three hours to process it from averaged stack of 7 serial JPEG sources.

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-1 - pair of very big snow crystals with similar shape and internal structure, sparkling on dark grey textured background
Snowflake photo: Draft_2-1 (3200 x 2400)

This is pair of big stellar dendrite snow crystals, fallen together at my black woolen backdrop. Interesting thing with that couple is that far crystal have almost the same size, shape and structure as near one, and it even sit in wool fibers at same angle! It seems that both snowflakes fall and grow in close proximity to each other, and similar air conditions and changes in temperature and humidity around them caused crystals to grow with similar shape. If you look closely at far crystal, you'll notice some differences in details of arms.

Prints of this double flake available at: Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-1, crystal center details
Crop of snowflake center in full size

And this is version in real colors, without my usual blue color toning. Almost all of my source photos with dark grey woolen background have similar, almost monochromatic grey colors, because in most cases the only light source is diffused light from cloudy winter sky: