Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO, is also famous for his audacious photography, notably of food. A while ago he got interested in snowflakes, too, and realized that to take high-rez photos of them, you'd have to build a wildly custom rig.
Why? As he told Forbes, part of the problem is they're tiny — so you need a camera that can adjust in increments of microns — and super fragile: Add the slightest bit of additional heat and they start melting and/or sublimating. So his camera is made of carbon fiber (to prevent micron-level material shrinkage as temperatures shift), uses ultra-high-speed LEDs (which pulse light so briefly it won't melt the snowflake), and uses artificial sapphire lenses ("eight times the thermal conductivity of glass", as Myhrvold notes).
In a detail that warms my Canadian heart, Myhrvold had to fly to Timmins, Ontario, to find the best place with tons of snowflakes to shoot.
You can hear the whole Forbes podcast where he discusses it here, but below are a sample of the photos he got, reprinted with his permission:
I feel there's a terrific joke in here somewhere, riffing off right-wing denigration of supposed "snowflake" culture, but I am too lazy to figure out what it might be.