Taking pictures of snowflakes - while they're falling!
Posted by David Brooks | Monday, January 21, 2013
I wrote in 2009 about a local guy who photographs snowflakes up close, with this as my lede:
"Taking pictures of translucent or reflective objects is hard. Taking pictures of things that melt when you shine light on them is hard. This is why you don't see many good photos of snowflakes."
You do see some good pictures, of course, from the time of Wilson Bentley - but not many. Invariably they are pictures of slakes captures on dark backgrounds, just after they have fallen.
The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, led by Univeristy of Utah atmospheric scientist Tim Garrett, takes 3-D pictures of falling snowflakes. Wow!
From the description: "It takes photos from three angles, while simultaneously measuring their fallspeed. The cameras are triggered by a vertically stacked bank of sensitive IR motions sensors designed to filter out slow variations in ambient light. Fallspeed is derived from successive triggers along the fallpath. The instrument is sensitive to snowflake sizes ranging from 100 micrometers to 3 cm (30,000 micrometers)."