I have been trying to photograph snowflakes for quite a few years, with limited success. This fall, I came across the work of Ken Libbrecht and was so inspired by his images that I decided to give it another try. Mr. Libberecht, is a professor of physics at Caltech and in my opinion the world’s leading snowflake photographer (an admittedly small group, but his work really is amazing). So in October, I started to build a microscope based on a design by Professor Libbrecht and come up with a lighting system to pursue this idea.
Well, Christmas morning I got a chance to try it out. You see, we have a new Labrador puppy at our house (Baxter). At 4:00am on Christmas morning, Baxter decided he needed to make an urgent trip out to use the facilities, and it was my turn. I was of course, less than pleased. As I stood there feeling sorry for myself waiting for Baxter to do his business, I happened to look down and see the beautiful snowflakes that were landing on my sleeve. While it has snowed a lot this year, all snowfalls are not created equal. Many things such as temperature, humidity, and low wind, all have to align to create really beautiful flakes to photograph.
Who knew? Baxter had it dialed in, he was actually waking me up so I didn’t miss my opportunity. What a good dog!