See the marvelous colors "inside" snowflakes

Don Komarechka captures astonishing photographs of snowflakes. His book Sky Crystals is a survey of snowflake science, a monograph of his macrophotography masterpieces, and a tutorial on the techniques. At Petapixel, Komarechka explains the surprising pop of color sometimes seen through the lens when he's shooting a snowflake:

As a snowflake grows it often creates a cavity or bubble inside of it where the inner side of the crystal grows slower than the top and bottom edge. This forces the layers of ice on either side of the bubble to be incredibly thin, so much so that light will interfere with itself.

Some light will reflect off the surface of the snowflake, but some will also enter the ice (slowing down due to the density of ice compared to air) and reflect off the inner ice/air boundary back towards the camera. If the ice is thin enough, the distance between the two rays of light is close enough to force them to interfere with each-other now that they are out of sync. Some wavelengths get amplified and others get reduced, resulting in a distinctive color emerging based on the thickness of the ice.

"How I Capture Vibrant Colors Inside Snowflakes" (PetaPixel)

Read the rest

Mr. T as a snowflake is Brandon Bird's new 'T-mas' card design

Remember that guy with the Jerry Orbach tribute car? Well, this is his 2017 holiday card design.

For the past few years, artist Brandon Bird has put sets of "T-mas" cards for sale in his online store. All the cards feature eighties icon Mr. T in a variety of holiday scenes. This year's card is called Precious Snowflake, as it imagines the gold-chained, mohawked A-Team star's as a paper snowflake design.

Bird shares the "T-mas" origin story:

The T-mas card tradition began with "Peace" in 2006 and "Believe" in 2008, and since 2011 I've tasked myself with creating a new design every year...

But the tradition of T-mas itself goes back further, to my sister, who decided we needed a holiday to celebrate America's only true folk hero. T-mas activities include the writing of Pity Lists, the construction of wooden "fools" from sticks which are tossed onto an open fire, and of course a hearty meal including lots of nutritious vegetables and milk. Though usually held in winter, T-mas can be celebrated any day. But remember, if you disrespect anyone's mother, T-mas is cancelled and you have to wait another year!

(I pity the fool who disrespects anyone's mother.)

Here's a look at some of his past year's T-mas card designs (most are still available for purchase):

Ginger T, art by Dyna Moe

Winter Wonderland, a collaboration with Erin Pearce

Peace on Earth (the original T-mas card)

A Hero Rides Forth

See the rest at Bird's online shop. Read the rest

In which Laurie Penny comprehensively proves that she has Yiannopoulos's number

Ever since I read Laurie Penny's scathing, insider account of Milo Yiannopoulos and his schtick, I knew that she had his number like no one else -- and now that Yiannopoulos has been disbarred from his position as the useful idiot of the hard-right, I've been wondering what Penny made of the fall from grace. Read the rest

DIY snowflake photography with old point-and-shoot

Russian photographer takes absolutely stunning photos of snowflakes on his balcony using an old point-and-shoot camera with a vintage USSR Helios lens mounted in reverse for extreme macro functionality. He describes his hacked rig and technique here: "Snowflakes, night city and other things"

More photos at Kljatov's Flickr stream: ChaoticMind75 (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

 Science of snowflakes - Boing Boing How snowflakes get their shapes - Boing Boing Time-lapse video of lab-grown snowflakes - Boing Boing Read the rest