One day in December 2014 i was lucky to capture some really large fernlike dendrites like this snowflake.
I've tried slightly different shooting technique than my usual methods, and was satisfied by results: i collected snowflakes on plastic bag, then transferred good looking specimens on surface of DVD-R disk, using small paintbrush. Moving snowflakes with brush is easy task; but after that, i've used sharp wooden toothpick to raise crystal by it's edge and make it stand vertically, relying on other crystal. This trick was not so easy, but, surprisingly, is not mission impossible: within half of hour i've managed to get four crystals standing, and they not fall, when i captured short series of photos.
This picture is the best of all four source sequences. It was made from averaged stack of 10 identical photos. Background behind snowflake is not sky: it is blue paper.
Fernlike dendrites are really amazing snowflakes. If you ever seen the snow, then you probably seen them, too: this is common and very big snowflakes. Usually they are so big, that we can see all their details with naked eye, especially if we catch them on dark backdrop for better contrast. Many "traditional" snowflakes, which are painted by artists and modelled by 3D designers, remind fernlike dendrites or similar type, stellar dendrites.
We can describe fernlike dendrites as stellar dendrites, only with more complex and "chaotic" structure: usually they have more side branches and "icy leaves", and these details in not strictly symmetrical on different arms, and even on opposite sides of same arm. Usually these crystals have very small center, but long, large and massive arms, and these crystals are very fragile. Often we can see these snowflakes with broken arms, or even single arms, fallen from the sky: it seems that this is results of collisions in the air.
This is horizontal panoramic version with more free space at right and left of crystal, in cinematic widescreen proportions, 16:9. In my opinion, this version is slightly better than standard cropping 4:3, especially for big size prints.
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February 14th, 2016
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