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Thread started 17 Feb 2011 (Thursday) 15:32
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Snowflakes: Handheld, focus-stacked, MP-E photos

 
Don ­ Komarechka
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Feb 17, 2011 15:32 |  #1

This year has been a great year for snowflakes.

The below photos are taken with a process I developed myself, which is as follows:

1: Wait for snow to start falling (yay!)
2: Place black wool mitten out to catch the snow
3: hunt for snowflakes that look interesting that are caught in the fibers of the mitten
4: hand-held, take as many photos at various focus points as possible. (magnification usually 3x-5x).
5: Using Photoshop's auto-align & auto-blend features, merge the images together. (normal focus stacking programs always fail due to the handheld approach)
5: clone and heal away all wool fibers that made it into the shot.

Ideas, suggestions, and comments always welcome.

1.

IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/wp-content/gallery/2010-2011-snowflakes-2/mg_3428.jpg

1 closeup:
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/wp-content/gallery/2010-2011-snowflakes-2/mg_3428-closeup.jpg

2.
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/wp-content/gallery/2010-2011-snowflakes-2/plate-circle.jpg

3.
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/wp-content/gallery/2010-2011-snowflakes-2/snowflake-heart.jpg

4.
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/images/potn/_MG_0606.jpg

5.
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/images/potn/incomplete2.jpg

6.
IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/wp-content/gallery/2010-2011-snowflakes-2/mg_3606.jpg

Thanks for looking! You can find more shots over at my blog:
http://don.komarechka.​com/?s=snowflake&sbutt​=Search (external link)

Canon 5D mark II w/ WFT-E4 IIA, Canon EOS-1n, Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS, Canon 100-400L IS, Canon 50mm F/1.4, Canon 100mm F/2.8 Macro, Canon 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye, Canon MP-E 65mm Macro, Speedlite 580EX II, MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite, and a black mitten
Photo Blog: Don.Komarechka.com (external link)

  
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ser8302
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Feb 17, 2011 15:40 |  #2

VERY COOL!!!!!




  
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2short2long
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Feb 17, 2011 15:52 |  #3

WOW !!! nice work, great detail. Thanks for the info. It adds to the understanding of the whole process. Thanks for sharing. Just a thought, what about food colouring added ???




  
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Don ­ Komarechka
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Location: Barrie, Ontario
     
Feb 17, 2011 16:17 |  #4

Thanks for the comments! Food colouring, however, would certainly melt the snowflakes instantly. I can try with different coloured lights, or a different colour of wool. That might be my next project!


Canon 5D mark II w/ WFT-E4 IIA, Canon EOS-1n, Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS, Canon 100-400L IS, Canon 50mm F/1.4, Canon 100mm F/2.8 Macro, Canon 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye, Canon MP-E 65mm Macro, Speedlite 580EX II, MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite, and a black mitten
Photo Blog: Don.Komarechka.com (external link)

  
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lindsaytblum
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Feb 17, 2011 16:35 |  #5

Amazing work!! I've never seen better macro-snowflake captures.


Canon 7D | 24-70mm f/2.8L II, 135mm f/2.0L, 100mm f/2.8L IS USM, 85mm f/1.8
Portfolio (external link)

  
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Martin ­ G.
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Feb 17, 2011 16:53 |  #6

those are beautiful


6D & 70D
EF 24-105 L, EF 40mm, EF 85mm f1.8, EF 100mm L IS, MP-E 65
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hummingbird
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Feb 17, 2011 22:33 |  #7

WOW! Those photos are fantastic. I have done some snowflake photos with my camera attached to my microscope, but never hand held.
Ruth




  
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LordV
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Feb 18, 2011 01:28 |  #8

Wonderful series of snowflake captures !
Brian v.


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/lordv/ (external link)
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Avarus
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Feb 18, 2011 01:39 as a reply to  @ LordV's post |  #9

Like photographing snow? See this website:

http://www.its.caltech​.edu …rystals/photo2/​photo2.htm (external link)


450D (XSi) | 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS | 50mm f/1.8 II | 100mm f/2.8 USM macro |Blower brush + orange textile duster | 2 good eyes (AF enabled)

  
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Don ­ Komarechka
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Location: Barrie, Ontario
     
Feb 18, 2011 08:17 |  #10

Thanks for all the "wows" and compliments everyone :)

The handheld focus-stacking approach gives an entirely different look to the snowflakes than the microscope approach. I may try using a microscope at some point, but the images feel rather flat and two-dimensional to me by comparison.

Avarus, I've contacted Ken Libbrecht from Caltech on a number of occasions before, and I own three of his books. He does fascinating work and I've read a lot about the physics behind it, but I prefer my MP-E lens approach - it makes my photos that much more unique. :)


Canon 5D mark II w/ WFT-E4 IIA, Canon EOS-1n, Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS, Canon 100-400L IS, Canon 50mm F/1.4, Canon 100mm F/2.8 Macro, Canon 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye, Canon MP-E 65mm Macro, Speedlite 580EX II, MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite, and a black mitten
Photo Blog: Don.Komarechka.com (external link)

  
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icopus
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Feb 18, 2011 08:42 as a reply to  @ Don Komarechka's post |  #11

Beautiful!


It's my life and I'll get pissed if I want to.
"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." - E.R. Murrow

  
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Daship
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Feb 18, 2011 09:18 |  #12

Best snow I ever seen.




  
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archer1960
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Feb 19, 2011 11:16 |  #13

Amazing shots!


Gripped 7D, gripped, full-spectrum modfied T1i (500D), SX50HS, A2E film body, Tamzooka (150-600), Tamron 90mm/2.8 VC (ver 2), Tamron 18-270 VC, Canon FD 100 f/4.0 macro, Canon 24-105 f/4L,Canon EF 200 f/2.8LII, Canon 85 f/1.8, Tamron Adaptall 2 90mmf/2.5 Macro, Tokina 11-16, Canon EX-430 flash, Vivitar DF-383 flash, Astro-Tech AT6RC and Celestron NexStar 102 GT telescopes, various other semi-crappy manual lenses and stuff.

  
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canonloader
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Feb 19, 2011 11:38 |  #14

Excellent stuff.


Mitch- ____...^.^...____
My Microscope Stuff (external link)
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Noel ­ Johnson
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Feb 19, 2011 12:12 |  #15

Phenomenal. Thanks for showing them.


Team Bunny. Depth before dishonour.
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/noeljphotograph​y/ (external link)
EOS80D, Canon 24-105 F4L, Canon 100 F2.8L, Canon 80-200 F2.8L. Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 OS, 380EX speedlight and a bunch of other stuff I can't use.

  
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Snowflakes: Handheld, focus-stacked, MP-E photos
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