Friday 15 January 2021

snowflake bentley

Vermont meteorologist and photographer Wilson Alwyn Bentley (who also answered to the above moniker, *1865 – †1931) captured the first detailed images of snowflakes on this day in 1885 by trapping them on a black velvet surface, a method perfected after much experimentation and still used. One can peruse the entire historical gallery of unique ice crystal formations developed originally as glass-plate micrographs curated by the Buffalo Museum of Science. Here are a few I managed on a pipe cleaner and some on the railing that I could photograph with I’m sure infinitely less patience than Bentley displayed—the fleeting creations ephemeral not only for melting but sublimating before the lens. If you’re getting some snow, try to take some pictures of a single flake.