They say no two snowflakes are alike. And that’s easy to believe
after you’ve seen the extraordinary crystalline structure of a
single snowflake, as captured in images by Russian photographer
Alexey has spent a lot of time perfecting his technique of
shooting snowflakes on the balcony of his apartment. He uses just a
simple point-and-shoot digital camera, the Canon Powershot A650,
along with a reversed lens from an old Soviet Zenit film camera. He
captures a series of images of the same snowflake, then combines
them with special software to reduce the random “noise” found in a
single image. He explains his technique on his blog
“The Keys to December.”
Check out Alexey’s Flickr
page for dozens of snowflake images along with other enhanced
photographs. I post a sampling here, with his permission. Other
media outlets also have shown interest. See his list of
Some of the best photographers in the world contribute to
National Geographic magazine. So it’s no wonder that a photo
contest sponsored each year by the publication draws in some
Last year, more than 7,000 entries were submitted by amateur and
professional photographers from 150 countries, and I would expect
an equal number this year. The deadline has passed for submissions
in 2014, and the winner of the $10,000 grand prize plus several
runners-up will be announced later this month.
I’m always pleased to present the winners of “National
Wildlife” magazine’s annual photo contest. This year’s winning
photos seem better than ever.
The magazine’s editors say they continue to be surprised by the
quality of the entries — which reached 28,000 in the 2012 contest.
And they were pleased to see expected and unexpected animal
behaviors shown in the images.
To view the top winners and the stories behind the photos, go to
“2012 Photo Contest Winners” on the National Wildlife
The photo of the leopard seal and the baby penguin captures a
moment after the seal ambushes the bird and starts playing with his
food. The photographer, Amos Nachoum of San Francisco, had to hang
out patiently under water to catch this and similar images.
The photo of sockeye salmon was captured when photographer David
Hall of Woodstock, N.Y., tried to escape the swift current by
taking refuge near a tree trunk. The stream is the Adams River of
With nature photographs ranging from the familiar to the exotic,
Seattle’s Burke Museum is preparing to open a new exhibit featuring
the winners of the 2012 International Conservation Photography
Everyone is invited to the opening day of the exhibit on
Saturday, when the winners will be revealed. Four of the winning
photographers will talk about their techniques and passions for
nature photography. Judges who selected the winners will offer
tours of the exhibit.
Review the schedule.
The biennial competition was initiated in 1997 by well-known
nature photographer Art Wolfe, the Seattle native whose stunning
compositions are often compared to fine paintings.
This year, the exhibit will include about 75 photographs taken
by various amateur and professional photographers from throughout
the world. More than 1,500 images were submitted for the
From the Burke Museum’s website:
“Capturing beautiful moments in the natural world, the photos
connect us to the tiniest of creatures and enormous environmental
changes. The competition and its award-winning photos inspire,
educate, and encourage us all to consider our impacts on the
world’s natural resources.”