The Hidden Life of Snowflakes



Growing up in northern Minnesota, I was always fascinated by snowflakes. When I began to take pictures of them through a microscope, I discovered a hidden world.The snowflakes we see falling to earth are most often clusters of individual snowflake crystals, traveling through the sky attached to each other or to tiny crystal fragments. Sometimes they break free to make the journey by themselves.They emerge from the clouds in a myriad of hexagonal shapes, from incredibly complex stars to nearly round flying saucers. There are even twins (not identical, of course).Taking a picture of a snowflake is very much subject to chance. Due to the fragile and ephemeral nature of snowflake crystals, conditions have to be just right. It must be very cold and everything they touch must be even colder. There should be very little wind and nothing to destroy their delicate structure. I wait until enough are collected, then work fast to capture an image. I use a variety of lighting and the pictures end up as different as the crystals.I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the life of a snowflake. Though inanimate, I feel as though they are somewhat like us; each one born completely different, yet inherently the same, falling free through an unknown sky, buffeted by winds of fortune, clinging to each other or making a solitary flight.However they appear, they are a testament to the inexorable diversity and wondrous beauty of nature. 

 Each image is printed on acid-free archival paper

Curt Gamm