Photographer’s homemade macro camera rig captures stunning snowflake images

A photographer in Russia has shown there’s nothing you can’t fix with a little duct tape and ingenuity. Alexey Kljatov rigged together two cheap pieces of photographic equipment – a 58mm Helios-44 f/2 lens from the Soviet era and an old 12.1 megapixel Canon PowerShot A650 budget camera – using a wooden board, tape, a screw, and a piece of glass. With this MacGyver-inspired camera, Kijatov is able to capture stunning macro photographs of snowflakes – images that you wouldn’t have thought came from a point-and-shoot camera and a knock-off Carl Zeiss lens.

Kljatov's camera system. MacGyver would be proud.
Kljatov’s camera system. MacGyver would be proud.

“I capture snowflakes at open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by LED flashlight from opposite side of glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background,” Kljatov wrote on his blog, detailing the process he uses. The Canon is set to macro mode and full resolution, and on a self-timer. During the delay Kljatov uses the flashlight to shine through two layers of a plastic bag, in order to create a more uniform lighting, he said. The whole process works during the day and at night, even with minimum ISO and short exposure time.

The schematic.
The schematic.

The post-processed, cropped photographs are not only spectacular, but the image quality is good enough that you can pick out all the unique details of each individual snowflake. And yes, no two are alike.

The source photographer on the left, and the cropped version on the right.
The source photograph on the left, and the cropped version on the right.

Check out Kljatov’s full details on how he accomplished this, and see more of his photographic work on Flickr.

(Via Beautiful Decay, The Phoblographer; images via Alexey Kljatov)

Product Review

Thanks to A.I. autofocus, Sony's A6400 makes professional results a breeze

The A6400 continues Sony's approach of forging ahead with technological advancements while leaving an unrefined user experience unchanged. Still, you won't find a better camera for under $1,000.
Product Review

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.
Photography

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.
Photography

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…
Photography

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…
Photography

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.
Deals

REI drops prices on the GoPro Hero 7 action camera by $50

GoPros have been around for years, and they are still one of the best action cams on the market — though they are usually quite expensive without a discount. Right now, you can save up to $50 on the Hero 7 from REI.
Mobile

Here are the best selfie cameras on the market, according to DxOMark

DxOMark, the company known for testing cameras, is now extending its smartphone analysis to include the front-facing camera. The Selfie ranking will be kept separate from the overall mobile score.