Macro Photography: Alexey Kijatov is a Moscow-based photographer. His works show his exclusiveness that his work was featured in the American Forests Winter 2015 in the name ‘Last Look.’ His columns are web-exclusive and his macro images of the snowflakes are testaments to nature and its minute complexity.
Alexey Kijatov loves taking snowflake close-up pictures. It is his hobby. He finds the real snow crystals as amazing macro photography objects. It is highlighted due to their uniqueness, beauty, and unlimited diversity. He is so much into the snowflakes and their new crystals that he is never tired of admiring the beauty of the incredible patterns the snowflakes make. Thus, he takes regular photo sessions and it is now more than eight winters that he is all with the snowflakes and its assortment of patterns.
Alexey Kijatov learned from his mother a lot about photography. She was a photography enthusiast. He got the basics of SLR cameras from his mom, and used Zenit cameras, until the initiation of the digital era and began with the Casio QV-3000. Like all beginners, he shot flowers and ladybugs for several years. He suddenly came across a snowflake shot and was stunned to see the crystal-like beauty taken by some other photographer. He began started with
snowflakes, and started immersing into the patterns and shapes of the snowflakes till today.
Some people consider the photography of snowflakes to be a complex matter and without expensive equipment taking pictures is impossible. However, Alexey Kijatov says it is easy, interesting, and can be taken even with inexpensive types of equipment, with some regular practice.
Among the snowflake photos, he feels processing the fernlike, huge dendrite crystals is the headache. It is because these snowflakes are complex and big. He says his mother started showing interest in snowflake photography after his few efforts and they chose to shoot together using identical techniques.
Alexey Kijatov uses an inexpensive technique. He says he shot snowflake pictures from his house’s open balcony. He shot dark shots first with bright snowflakes in natural light. He kept the background as dark gray woolen fabric. He places the fabric on a stool and waits for a crystal to fall on it, and begins shooting. He shot using a small desktop tripod.
Alexey Kljatov uses a backlit glass surface also as his method. He shoots vertically from above the darker shots. A simple tool he believes is taking photographs without shaking. He says he uses a compact camera and captures snowflakes as a series of identical photos mostly, 8 to 10 photos of each beautiful and interesting crystal. He aligns every pixel taking the shots of
corresponding pixels with each stage of workflow processing. He says, as he uses the averaging technique, it reduces noise and brings out subtle and thin details with color transitions. It is unseen almost in every single shot as it is masked by noise.
Alexey Kljatov admires Wilson Bentley, the snowflake photography pioneer. He also admires Kenneth G. Libbrecht, who takes natural photos of snowflakes, and Alexey’s admirer’s list also includes Don Komarechka, a Canadian snowflake photographer, as this photographer reveals amazing details, and explains the features and shape of the snowflakes.
To know more about: Alexey Kljatov