Friday, July 15, 2016

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. Full size: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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, 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). Full size: 1600 x 1200 pixels

Prints available at Artist website, 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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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. Full size: 1024 x 768 pixels

Prints available at Artist website, 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. Full size: 1200 x 900 pixels

Prints available at Artist website, 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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

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. Full size: 1600 x 1200 pixels

Prints available at Artist website, 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. Full size: 1600 x 1200 pixels

Prints available at Artist website, 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). 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.

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.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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 one 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. Full size: 3200 x 2400 pixels

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, 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:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_2-2 - two large snow crystals with similar shape, glittering on dark woolen fabric, real colors version
Snowflake photo: Draft_2-2. Full size: 3200 x 2400 pixels

Snowflakes is the crystals of clear transparent ice, and they can take any color, depending of light source and surrounding environment (this gives us a fantastic opportunity to experiment with lighting and backgrounds). Although, when looking from particular angles, snow crystals become white and semi-transparent, or almost opaque (i think, this is because of light scattering: light rays can bounce inside of snow crystal, reflecting from numerous facets). Also, in some cases snowflakes can show us rainbow colors, which produced by prismatic features inside crystals, and even more interesting phenomenon: rainbow colors, created by thin film interference effect (it explained in Wikipedia; this effect also creates rainbow colors in soap bubbles). In relation to the snowflakes, this effect can be seen rarely: it needs interleaved and very thin layers of ice and air inside snow crystal. Here you can see several examples of rainbow snowflakes, that i've encounter during recent winters.

Prints of grey version also available at: Artist website, RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, Marketplace.500px.com.

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.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Major blog update with HTTPS support

With recently added HTTPS support for Google Blogger, i've worked hard to make my blog fully compatible with it:

Snowflake photography blog The Keys to December fully supports HTTPS access


At first, i checked all scripts in use, and make sure that they can be loaded over HTTPS, so i don't get mixed content warning from browsers, when protected page contains some unprotected elements. Also, i got this warning because my old code for E-Mail subscription from Feedburner service contains two HTTP references. I took new code (it refers to HTTPS), and problem was solved. With all blog photos and graphics i have no problems, thanks to Flickr, who switched to HTTPS long ago. Although, i checked posts with old Flickr embed codes (taken before Flickr HTTPS support was rolled out), and get new codes for all these images.

But then, i need to change all internal links in all posts and pages from absolute to relative form:

http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.com/...
should be
//chaoticmind75.blogspot.com/...

Then, clicking a link on protected page will load protected, and click on standard HTTP page will load standard. This was really hard work, because my blog have almost two hundred posts and static pages, with hundreds of internal links. As side effect, i checked also all outgoing links: updated many of them to HTTPS versions (for sites that supports it), and removed several dead links (or updated them to proper versions, if they can be retrieved).

So, if you will go to any protected page, you'll surf protected version of blog:

https://chaoticmind75.blogspot.com

...and standard HTTP pages are fully functional, too:

http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.com