Wilson Bentley: The First of Snowflake Photography

Photographer Wilson Bentley is known as the pioneer of snowflake photography and one of the starters of photomicrography. Revisit his crystal prints here.

Bentley was first a farmer in the small town of Jericho, Vermont, and he was the first to give humanity the first close-ups of snowflakes. The following winters from 1885 to 1931, had Bentley capture over 5000 snowflakes and snow crystals on film.

The town called him The Snowflake Man or Snowflake Bentley. It all began with a microscope that his mother gave him. He was a lover of the winter season and used it to investigate and study snowflakes. When his father eventually gave him a camera, he combined the two mediums. and photographed first snowflake image on January 15, 1885.

He improved his images by using darker backgrounds so he could amplify the details of a crystal. He scraped away the dark emulsion surrounding the image from a duplicate of the original negative and used a sharp penknife to trace it out. The altered image would be placed on a clear glass plate and then printed, thus a dark background.

Images are from Graphicine

2018-01-09 #culture #snowflakes #wilson-bentley #snowflake-photography

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