Here’s one reason to hate this season’s copious gusts of snow a little less. When it’s not helping writers tell stories, the snow tells its own story–one of the balletic grace of nature–in a new video that takes a close look at snowflake formation.
Prolific videographer Vyacheslav Ivanov goes beyond what we’ve seen before with macro-photography of snowflakes by revealing through time-lapse footage how they look when forming at a core level. Over the course of three days, Ivanov used a microscope, flexible fibers, and a Canon Mark III camera to capture the elaborately symmetrical blooming patterns of these ice crystals coming into existence.
“This is a sublimation,” Ivanov tells us. “Under certain conditions, snowflakes sublimate. They transition from the crystal into a gas. The process is very similar to crystallization–just the opposite of it.”
In white light over a black backdrop, looking eerily similar to a sonogram, the snowflakes in the video, “Snowtime,” begin to find their shape. They expand like roses or fireworks, stabbing out away from the center–all accompanied by the sounds of “Avril 14th” from Aphex Twin. As the subject slips in and of focus at times, we can see the lines thicken, expanding in their ephemeral essence.
Although the videographer has long been interested in science and nature, snowflakes are a fairly recent fixation. Lucky for him, getting to know more about the process by which they’re made hasn’t taken away from their enchantment.
“The closer I examine the nature, the more surprised I am by its stunning beauty,” Ivanov says. “On all levels.”