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Book of Flakes

Book of Flakes
Book of Flakes

Book of Flakes

No I didn’t write/assemble a book on Snow Flakes yet. But this is a Stack of Flacks like a stack of poker chips. They are all aligned on their center axis. I count at least 4 layers maybe 5 here. Your milage may differ.

Reading a Book of Snowflakes

The temperature/humidity/pressure has to be just so for books to form. They can all crow from the same center ice needle. Each flake of course is unique in the book. Sitting on a coats fur collar, this flake has long since turned to ice in a pile or has sublimated from solid to gas directly. IT’s been a winter so far of mostly ice pellets. About 6 snows in October I think.. Our air is dry here and sublimation is a major source of snow disappearance by a direct phase change. Captured in a tiny tiny moment of time and space. Forever now launched in Cyberspace as once it’s on Facebook, it’s stored until the internet finally crashes lol.

Setting the proper mood:

There are hundreds of names for snow, you say,
unlatching the fortochka in the morning light.
Let’s name them all, love, along the way.

Last night snow danced its boreal ballet
of whorls and swirls, fine arabesques in white—
you know hundreds of names for snow, you say.

Down crystalline paths we slip and spin, surveying
ice falls, tall drifts, single flakes in flight—
my love and I count them along the way.

In my head, sparking visions start to play:
once love’s begun, who knows? Perhaps we might—
There are hundreds of names for snow, you say,

gently, their meanings subtle, hard to convey—
elusive as love’s many meanings last night.
I wait. You walk—silent—along your way.

Feeling foolish, unschooled, I whisk away
a sudden, childish tear obscuring my sight.
You know hundreds of names for love, you say:
I’ll learn them all, love, along my way.

— Katherine E. Young : Public Domain

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Location: Montana/Wyoming borderlands.

A Book of Snowflakes

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Snowflake Polarizer Up Close

Snowflake Polarizer Up Close
Snowflake Polarizer Up Close

Snowflake Polarizer Up Close

I have no idea of how the physic of the color center of the flake operated. It is not false color and I didn’t do it in the digital dark room. It’s not a digital artifact. Somehow there must be a polarizing film such as melted water there? But the physics say there must be a second polarizing film to draw color out of white light like this. I worked polarizing optical microscopes used in mineral analysis for years. Somehow “crossed polarizers” formed for this image to occur.

Captured using a 1:1 “macro” rated lens. (90mm Zeiss/Sony) I was able to zoom into this piece of natures artistry. As they say, no two flakes are ever the same. There are MANY different kinds of macro lenses. If you have questions about this PM me. I used an LED flashlight for the source of light hand held but there was not a polarizing lens on either the camera OR the flashlight. How this happened is beyond my level of understanding. I’m just happy to have captured it lolol. 📷

Geometric purity always amazes me. The geometric forms created under the rules of nature become phenomena… One thing I have observed and confirmed personally as a scientist over my travels, is that growth of any crystalline substance is orderly. A repetitive process, the materials used in the construction of the snowflake arrange themselves into a limited number of predetermined orientations. Science right in front of us.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: Snowflake Polarizer Up Close

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Order Versus Chaos

Order Versus Chaos
Order Versus Chaos

The symmetrical Order Versus the Chaos of a Bad Hair Day.

One of the most ordered things in the universe sitting amongst a scattered scaffolding of coarse hairs. Clearly Chaos defined.

Captured here by a nice really TINY snowflake. It’s Sitting individual hairs of BobCat fur. I find animal fur a very good platform to shoot snowflakes from. The hard part is getting the BobCat to stay still long enough to get the shot……..🤔

Fur in general will catch flakes and often hold them ideally vertically for me. I get into enough Photo-yoga without having to block light to get over horizontal flakes. I can’t think of a better media for this work as it won’t melt the snowflakes. The hair is a wonderful insulator

Photographic musings:

Just before I started typing this narrative, I was outside with this very piece of fur looking for that perfect flake while enjoying zero windchill. The gear I use is variable depending on the lighting as I work from several Macro lenses. Each lens you should EVER buy should be a generational purchase. I have lenses I’m still using I bought in the 1990’s and use several 1970’s lenses say weekly…

On the other hand, I consider camera backs a disposable item after the repair cost exceeds a new camera. They are worth less and less each new model that comes out. I haven’t worn one out to the point of not being able to repair one though just yet. What’s good about Sony is that you CAN get them fixed.

I’m about to send two 1400 dollar Sony Alpha 7 RII cameras back into repair (400-900 dollars each camera so far). I wear out several Camera backs a year these days. Environmental stress destroys complex delicate electronics, LOTS of manual settings, beat up the settings wheels. There is a lot of grit in the atmosphere/environment here too.

I find that cameras in this extreme environment stop working in some manner in the 50-100k click mark. I easily take that many photos and more but spread that 8 cameras currently. I send one in about every 2 months or so lolol. I’ll be working with only 6 functioning workhorses for the next month. That is sort of a handy-cap the way I do things these days sadly. They will come back like new if History is a guide.

If your able to afford it, having cameras and lenses covering all different focal lengths is HIGHLY desirable. I always take 5 or 6 cameras and lens combinations with me while working to make what I do happen. You can sure take good photos with one camera body with multiple lenses. Problem is you have to change during a shoot. No one has enough time during a sunset to be changing lenses. For an example: last night I worked 5 cameras for a half an hour last night as the Sun set directly over the Bighorn Mountains. Every camera has dozens or hundreds of images of that event.

Changing lenses also introduces dirt and dust into your camera. You can buy cleaning kits on amazon. Not that hard to do. Get the right sized sqab kit though…

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands

Title: Order Versus Chaos