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Snow crystals (pictures added)

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17416
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Snow crystals (pictures added) Reply with quote

Today we had our first notable snowstorm of the winter. Yeah, I know -- on January 18?! Odd winter.

Anyway, when I got up and saw several inches of fresh snow with more still falling, I thought it would be a good opportunity to photograph some lovely hexagons.

But that's not quite the way it worked out. What had actually been falling was a mass of tiny linear crystals.

Here's what they looked like in aggregate, as a thin windblown layer on my porch:



The better to see what was going on, I set out a piece of chilled Protostar and shot it quick before much more had fallen.



Finally, very near the end of the snowstorm, something hexagon-ish touched down. But I only saw the one.



Canon MP-E 65 at 2X, Canon Speedlite 580 EX II with Opteka diffuser, short stacks handheld, ZS DMap. The second stack was a bit tricky because a late-arriving crystal knocked over a couple of others that had been photographed earlier.

--Rik

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Last edited by rjlittlefield on Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17416
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that was yesterday, and today's different. Here's what fell today:



I guess maybe an inch and a half of this stuff fell, over the course of the whole day. It piled up like white sand, with the lower levels slightly adhered to pavement & concrete that had been shoveled clean last night.

The really interesting thing was how these little drops of ice interacted with those fine crystals from yesterday. Of course on level areas they just piled on top. But around edges they acted almost like sandblasting, taking what yesterday had been smooth fluffy blankets of snow and today turning them into eroded cliffs that continued to cut back as the day progressed. Here's a two frame animation, "2-1/2 hours in the life of a deck railing".



I envy folks who get attractive snow. Seems like all I get is "interesting". Oh well, I'll take it. Hope you find it interesting too!

--Rik
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oxkarthemighty



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 108
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kept trying to get some flakes myself...on the little amount of snow that we got this year. Darn southeastern New Mexico winters. Might not have been your desired result, but I dig the "shattered" snowflake photo. Still pretty cool brotha!
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tpe



Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 445
Location: Copenhagen Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice, i have always wanted to do that, i hope you dont stop now it would be nice to compare them to even more sorts of snow and hear how they relate to the sticky/driftyness etc. It now seems obvious why the sand like snow is sand like but it had never occured to me it was the shape of the flakes, i had always thought it was just temperature and melting.

tim
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nlamendo



Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik,
These are great images. I'm fascinated with all the different variety of snow crystals that form. Each snow fall is different and the type of crystal falling can vary from one minute to the next. The hex plates are the easiest to photograph because they are very flat, compared to the hex columns you shot. How many images are in your short stack? I've got to give that a try some time, the large death of field is awesome.

-Nick L
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:

Seems like all I get is "interesting". Oh well, I'll take it. Hope you find it interesting too!

In the UK this is known as "the wrong kind of snow". It comes in a range of forms and its principal function is to immobilise our public transport, notably the railways. Rolling Eyes

Harold.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, guys.

nlamendo wrote:
How many images are in your short stack? I've got to give that a try some time, the large death of field is awesome.

In the first post, they were 7, 8, and 4 frames, respectively. Shooting aperture was nominal f/8, so about f/24 effective.

--Rik
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