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Jewel by ChaoticMind75 Jewel by ChaoticMind75
Real snowflake macro photo.

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Falken02 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
all of them are beautiful
annabre7 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
AkuZeku Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Absolutely brilliant! It really doesn't look like I'd imagine a snowflake. So very cool! :heart:

I have a question though. I'm still a beginner in photography and editing. What does it mean that you took "8 serial shots to boost signal-to-noise-ratio"? Does it mean you took 8 shots and combined them? I'd be glad if you could explain! Thank you!
ChaoticMind75 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013   Photographer
Thanks! Yes, it was made from 8 identical shots. Averaging decreases noise level while preserving details and even helps revealing subtle ones, which masked by noise in every single shot. For this technique we need many identical shots. The problem: they should be ideally aligned. This snowflake serial shots are not ideal: there is some shifts and small rotates, and resolution of object very small. Aligning function in photoshop work very well, but in this case we need more: subpixel precision. In recent snowflake shots i use this technique: firstly, i load all shots as layers, and do rough manual aligning of them by center of snowflake (here helps "difference" blending mode: i shift layers, trying to get most dark picture, which indicates minimal differences, and then change blending mode back to "normal"). After that, i crop picture, leaving some space around snowflake in all directions. This background usually contains some dirt and debris, and it is good, because this garbage will help photoshop aligning software later, serves as additional markers. Then, i resize cropped picture to 500% (5x), using bicubic interpolation, select all layers and apply "edit - auto align layers" function, setting switch to "auto". When it's done, i see good aligned stack with virtually subpixel precision. Now i average (sum) them, by setting opacity of layers. First, bottom layer got default opacity 100%, second layer - 50%, third - 33%, fourth - 25%, and so on: opacity of layer = 100% divided by it's number in the stack. So all layers have equal gain in resulting blend (like we summed values of every single pixel and then divide it by number of shots in stack). While details identical in all layers, noise randomly distributed in them, and with every addition we effectively reduce noise level (or raise signal / noise ratio). After setting opacity of layers, i flatten them in one and downscale image back to its original size. Alternatively, good alignment can be achieved by using "align_image_stack.exe" commandline utility from Hugin (freeware panorama stitching package).
AkuZeku Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sorry for the very late reply ... I kept your wonderful explanation in my inbox to read it again later, as it was a little hard for me to understand (English isn't my mother tongue). But I wanted to thank you for explaining, I might try this and look what comes out of it ;) THANK YOU! :rose:
ChaoticMind75 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013   Photographer
You are welcome. :) My english is terrible, i never learned it methodically (it's not my native language too).
AkuZeku Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I thought it was your mother tongue! :D
s-kmp Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
:w00t: This lovely piece has been featured here :bulletred: A Little Bit Of Tiny-Worlds Magic :bulletred: at :icontiny-worlds-photo:

Please Fave/comment on the feature and take some time to Fave/comment on the wonderful work of our other members
(hopefully they will do the same for you) :w00t:
isischneider Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013   Photographer
wow!! Brilliant shot.
miontre Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow, that's amazing!
Pimpernel Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
So awesome and sharp! Congrats on this lovely pic :)
ChaoticMind75 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Photographer
Isalovesphotography Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
nature is so amazing *.* great!!!
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Submitted on
January 5, 2013
Image Size
322 KB


2,742 (2 today)
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Camera Data

Canon PowerShot A650 IS
Shutter Speed
1/2 second
Focal Length
44 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 3, 2013, 12:47:16 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Sensor Size