Thursday, May 26, 2016

Artist website is ready

Artist website is ready and fully functional:

Artist website offers high quality photo, frame and art prints, and also posters, greeting cards, tote bags, iPhone and Galaxy phone cases

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

Website powered by - print-on-demand service which i really like and prefer over any other. Site have exactly same content, and almost the same functionality as it's mirrors at and, but have some important advantages.

It's fast. In my tests, main page loads twice as fast as same page on 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 and, offers money-back guarantee for every purchase.

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

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' 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:,
Licenses for commercial use - at,

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:,
Licenses for commercial use - at,

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:
should be

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:

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Snowflake wallpaper: Steering wheel

Unusual snowflake Steering wheel now available as Ultra HD wallpaper:

Snowflake photo wallpapers, resolution up to Ultra HD 4K 3840x2160, aspect ratio: standard and widescreen, free download

Wallpaper available in screen proportions 4:3, 5:4, 16:10 and 16:9, resolutions from 800x600 pixels (SVGA) to 3840x2160 (Ultra HD 4K).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Snowflake draft #1

Decided to start additional series of snowflake photos: Snowflake draft, in parallel with fully processed snow crystals. This will be small packs of snowflake photos, processed with simplified and more quick workflow.

My main processing workflow for snowflake photography requires lots of time and effort. I really like this work and never tired of it, because careful processing of aligned and averaged RAW stack certainly worth all efforts: resulting image looks way better than in-camera source photos. But that means that i can show you only small fraction of all nice and interesting snowflakes i capture every winter. All of my snow crystals stored in very big archive as series of RAW + JPEG photos, waiting for processing; though i suspect that most of these snowflakes will never be released - only because i can't find enough time to process them all!

So, here is first post in draft series. For these photos, i'll do faster processing: averaging of JPEG stacks with simplified post-processing. I will show only interesting and/or beautiful crystals (at my taste), but, to keep some intrigue, will not show best of the best snowflakes, until they processed with full workflow. :)

These crystals was captured 18 December 2015. This was second day of my snowflake photography this winter, and first day that brings me some nice specimens:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_1-1 (real snow crystal with very broad transparent arms, photograph on dark woolen fabric)
Snowflake photo: Draft_1-1. Full size: 2453 x 1840 pixels

This large snow crystal resembles duck feet or gecko's paw. Snowflakes of this type, if they are big enough, can be easily spot by naked eye and draws attention, thanks to their unusual and beautiful shape with thin, broad and very clean arms. Here is details of one arm without re-scaling. I like how background distorted by transparent details on crystal surface:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_1-1, details of one arm

I've already processed two snow crystals of this type: High voltage / Gecko's paw (normal and negative processing of same photo, taken on glass surface) and Ice crown - large snowflake on dark woolen fabric.

Next snowflake is very big 12-sided crystal (quite rare finding), with complex structure and slight rime on surface:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_1-2 (real snow crystal with 12 arms, photograph on dark woolen fabric)
Snowflake photo: Draft_1-2. Full size: 2901 x 2176 pixels

Here is crop of it's center in 1:1 scale. Can you find tiny hollow column snowflake on it?

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_1-2, crystal center details

Snowflakes with twelve arms is one of my favorites (along with hexagonal plates and triangular snow crystals). Here is two more 12-sided crystals: Wheel of time and Twelve months (i've captured and processed them in 2014).

Next crystal is stellar dendrite, but almost completely covered with rime. Usually, i do not like such crystals: often they carry so much rime, so they reminds pillow, almost completely opaque and even their shape barely seen. However, small amount of rime sometimes look cute: snowflake can remind massive brooch, covered by lots of tiny diamonds:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Heart-powered star

Snowflake macro photo: Heart-powered star - real snow crystal with pattern of hearts around central hexagon, photograph on pink gradient background
Snowflake photo: Heart-powered star. Full size: 1400 x 1050 pixels

Prints available at /,
Licenses for commercial use - at

The most interesting detail in this small snowflake is ring pattern of heart-shaped elements, connected to central hexagon. These "hearts" are unusual and rare details in snow crystals patterns (i have seen them only twice in 8 winters of snowflake photography). This crystal was processed for birthday of my girl Lucy:

White queen (portrait of Lucy)

8 identical photos averaged to boost signal-to-noise ratio. Glass background with LED backlight, additional lens Helios 44M-5, January 2016, Moscow. Also, i processed this photo in alternate colors:

Snowflake macro photo: Heart-powered star (alternate) - real snow crystal with pattern of hearts around central hexagon, photograph on blue/grey gradient background
Snowflake photo: Heart-powered star (alternate). Full size: 1400 x 1050 pixels

Prints available at /,
License for commercial use - at

Here is first similar snowflake, Frozen hearts:

Snowflake macro photo: Valentine's day crystal - real snow crystal with heart-shaped pattern on bright pink 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.