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This example shows a pair of identical-twin snowflakes along with some image-processing notes.


This movie shows two snow crystals growing side-by-side on a substrate. The crystals are surrounded by water droplets that appeared when moist air was blown onto the cold substrate. [You can view a smaller version here. It's a bit grainy, but it should download 5x faster.]

The movie was made from 132 still images that were taken over a total elapsed time of 15 minutes. The final crystals each measure about 1.8 millimeters (0.07 inches) from tip to tip. The movie is played about 60 times faster than real time.

These two images show the original first and last photographs in the series, unretouched except they were resized to make them four times smaller (for faster downloading). I used plain white-light illumination with a light blue filter, and the illumination was from behind the crystals, so you see the water droplets and crystals against a bright background. Ice and water are clear materials, so the images at this point are a bit bland.

Here is the final photo after inverting the colors (giving a "negative" image), tweaking the colors and brightness levels, cropping, and resizing to 1920x1080 (standard TV resolution). My camera has a fixed resolution of about 1.5 microns per pixel, so cropping is a must. And I like playing with the colors just make the crystals look nice. 

The shapes of the crystals were not altered in any way, nor was their position on the substrate.

Here is another view of the last photo, this time simply cropped and with the brightness levels changed. Nothing else was altered. This also shows the native resolution of the image, at 1.5 microns per pixel (click on the thumbnail for the high-resolution version).