Saturday, 29 January 2011

little snow

some amazing images of snow seen under a microscope...

1 comment:

  1. Wilson A. Bentley- Snow Photography

    When Wilson A. Bentley was 20 years of age he became the first person to photograph a snowflake. Over the course of the next 46 years Bentley devoted himself to the photographic documentation of snowflakes. He stated that “Under the microscope, i found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others”. Bentley shot over 5000 snowflakes.

    Bentleys passionate and dogged determination made people consider him an eccentric. In The American Magazine 1925 Bentley speaks about the way he was viewed by his neighbours.

    I guess they’ve always believed that I was crazy, or a fool, or both. Years ago, I thought they might feel different if they understood what I was doing. I thought they might be glad to understand. So I announced that I would give a talk in the village and show lantern slides of my pictures. They are beautiful, you know, marvelously beautiful on screen. But when the night came for my lecture, just six people were there to hear me…I think they found my pictures beautiful. I doubt, though, they have changed their opinion of me. They still think I’m a little cracked. I’ve just had to accept that opinion and try not to care. It doesn’t hurt me–very much.

    His determination paid off however as, due to his work everyone is now taugh that ‘no two snowflakes are alike’. For Bentley, this discovery was something profound “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated.” Bentleys work often found him touched by sadness.”When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost”. While he obviously took pleasure in documenting each individual snowflake, equally missing the opportunity to document a snowflake sent him into despair. “Just that much beauty was gone without leaving any record behind.” It was this quote from Bentley which i found most revealing:

    We had one storm last winter which brought me perhaps the most interesting snow crystal I have ever seen: a wonderful little splinter of ice, incredibly fragile. That was a tragedy! In spite of my carefulness, the crystal was broken in transferring it to the slide. It makes me almost cry, even now.

    For me, this basically sums up the frustrations and futility of photography