Looking at Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov’s extraordinary macro photographs of snowflakes, one would – pretty understandably – assume they required laboratory conditions, lenses as big as your legs and cameras unknown to us who kind of have a working knowledge of what aperture is but really wouldn’t want to be pressed to explain it.
You would, however, be wrong to make those assumptions. In this blog post, Alexey lifts the old-timey velvet photography hood on his process. He uses a circa–2007 point-and-shoot camera, a Soviet-era lens purchasable on eBay for around $50, a wooden plank and a little ingenuity. The trick is focussing the point-and-shoot through the reversed 58mm lens, just as you can look through the reverse end of a telescope and see the world in miniature. The photographs are then refined, reducing camera noise by averaging multiple exposures of the same photograph. Each photo as individual as, well, a snowflake.
It’s a technique with application beyond snapping tiny ice crystals but if you don’t take the leap into budget macro photography, his Flickr is still a beautiful corner of the internet in which to spend some time.