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)

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