Wilson Bentley was the first person to photograph a snowflake up close. Learn more about him and see his snowflake photos after the break.
Wilson Bentley, otherwise known as ‘The Snowflake Man’, is considered the first photographer to capture snowflakes. His fascination with snowflakes started when he was just a teenager. At first, he tried to draw the figure of a snowflake as how he saw it under a microscope. However, he soon found out that he couldn’t get all the details of the snowflake since they melted within a short time. As a solution, he used a bellows camera and his microscope to capture the intricate and unique designs of snowflakes. His first successful snowflake photo was taken on January 15, 1885.
“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. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.” – Wilson Bentley, 1925
Bentley took detailed photos of thousands of snowflakes. Since he was the only person known to do this, his works were published on a magazine. His photos were also sought by many international educational institutions for further studies.
Unfortunately, Wilson Bentley died of pneumonia, which he caught while taking photographs of snowflakes during a blizzard. View some of his snowflake photos below:
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