12.28.2012

WILSON A. BENTLEY'S SNOWFLAKE PHOTOGRAPHS




I'm not going to be seeing much (or, more accurately, any) snow this winter, so I am appreciating the cold wet stuff vicariously through the internet.  

The above photographs of snowflakes were taken by Wilson A. Bentley in 1890 by means of a microscope attached to his camera.  Bentley, a Vermont native, was a pioneer in photomicrography and captured the very first photographic images of snowflakes.  

When asked about his work, Bentley responded, "Snowflakes were miracles of beauty, and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others.  Every crystal was a masterpiece of design; and no one design was ever repeated.  When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost.  Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.  I became possessed with a great desire to show people something of this wonderful loveliness, an ambition to become, in some measure, its preserver."

images via the Smithsonian Institution 

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