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Photographer Captures Most Detailed Snowflake Images on Record

2 months ago
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Capturing snowflakes' beauty presented challenges for photographer Nathan Myhrvold. He decided to build his own specialized microscope camera to photograph the intricate details of individual snow crystals.

This passion project took 18 months of innovative problem-solving around issues like preventing the delicate flakes from melting.

Myhrvold's Process

Once Myhrvold created the highest-resolution snowflake camera, finding the ideal frigid shooting locations proved harder than expected. Ultimately serendipitous snowfall eventually allowed Myhrvold to capture mesmerizing, symmetric designs revealing snowflakes' hidden intricacies.

Myhrvold, co-author of the boundary-pushing five-volume art and science cookbook Modernist Cuisine, also shoots incredible photos featured in museum-quality galleries. Intrigued by physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht's snowflake microscope images, Myhrvold wanted to photograph every day yet invisible natural wonders.

Most people regularly experience snowfalls but don't appreciate snowflakes' micro-structures. This inspired Myhrvold's quixotic quest to build his own specialized camera despite daunting technological hurdles.

Myhrvold's humor and infectious laughter belie his storied technology career. Retiring as Microsoft's Chief Technology Officer in 1999, he pursued longstanding passions for cooking, photography, and problem-solving challenges.

Myhrvold built microscope setups before to artistically capture beer's essential ingredient, hops, though few drinkers recognize them. Similarly, snowflakes' ephemeral existence means their intricate symmetries remain hidden marvels. So Myhrvold engineered solutions to the multifaceted difficulties of photographing the Arctic's icy gems without destroying their delicate designs.


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