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Photographer Uses Cheap Home-Made Camera Rig To Take Stunning Close-Ups of Snowflakes

As fascinating as macro photography is, most of us think we can’t do it because it requires specialized equipment. Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov, however, is an inspiration to aspiring amateur photographers everywhere – he created a home-made rig capable of capturing stunning close-up pictures of snowflakes out of old camera parts, boards, screws and tape. His pictures give us an enchanting close-up view of snowflakes that we could never hope for without specialized equipment.

The wonderful thing about snowflakes is that no two are alike. Their extraordinary diversity diversity stems from the many small changes in temperature and humidity that they experience while freezing on their way down to the ground. Their six-sided symmetry occurs because the crystalline structure of ice is also hexagonal. All of these many factors come together to create beautiful shapes that are almost always unique.

Kljatov’s rig creates the sort of photos that might otherwise require lenses or other equipment worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. And the pictures he creates with this rig look absolutely amazing. For more information about how he did it, check out his blog post.

Source: Flickr (via

Kljatov uses a Canon Powershot A650 and a reversed 44M-5 Helios lens from an old Russian Zenit camera. For more information about the equipment used and the rig keeping it all together, check out his blog post. UPDATE: Kljatov also drew a simple schematic of his homemade rig, so if you’re serious about trying it out, you can find more information here.

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  • DeAnna Germanson

    These are incredible – a glimpse of things greater than ourselves….

    • Ria Benko

      Alexey, Lovely pictures.Your efforts to show others how to take these kinds of photos with home made equipment is appreciated.
      Not to denigrate your efforts but these kinds of photographs have been done before. Please check out the books by Masaru Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water, 2005. He has several other books on water and it’s potential for healing, etc. Also his work was explained in the film, “What The Bleep Do We Know.”

      • Ria Benko

        DeAnna Germanson, So sorry, I did not mean to reply to you specifically. I’ve never replied before on a site like this.

  • God’s World

    God is awesome!

    • $15373219


  • DorLugas

    Looks really great, but the 4th pic has the imperium logo in the middle. that kinda threw me off and makes it feel fake for me.

    • Xeridian

      Ever think that Snowflakes are where they got that from in the first place? You know these arent the first time snowflakes have had images taken this small/close…

      • DorLugas

        yeah, you got a point there, i still don’t think these are real snowflakes. In the end it’s my opinion and doesn’t have to be yours. :)

  • Richaard

    The question of faith is never gonna be solved. But the problem starts when one of the sides tries to advertise its feelings expecting the other side to join them. Waste of time. There’s no need to discuss the origen of things. That is a personal and private philosophy of life. Funny, we all agree that the product is sensacional. Let each of us decide who and how was it created. Respect the thoughts of others.

    • GrammarPolice

      I only respect the thoughts of other people who know how to use spellcheck.

      • ABC

        boo hoooo. Check that.

  • Shannon Fisher

    I agree that we will never agree. What bothers me mostly about this is the notion that in order to believe in a God you have to be delusional, desperate, crazy, scared, or any other number of things like that. I’m not using emotion to look at this thing. I’m using logic. Intelligent design points to an intelligent creator. It takes more “faith” to me, to believe that the beginning or origin of all this was some happy accident from some unknown unintelligent “thing” than it does that someone intelligent, who always was (the origin) designed it all.

    • james

      I respect your view Shannon, i do not think you are crazy, i do however think you are wrong. The evidence for evolution is immense. If you were to challenge the current thinking, It would have to be a massive and revolutionary piece of evidence, the equivalent of god turning up and saying dinosaurs bones was his little joke. It is absolutely necessary that those pronouncing intelligent design can publish and argue their case, it does not mean that they are right.

      • JohnEssex

        Evidence for evolution =/= Evidence AGAINST gods. The only thing that evidence for evolution specifically disproves is the existence of steady-state creation.

  • don mario

    why do all these arm chair scientists get in such a period rage whenever someone uses the word god?

    if they were as smart and enlightened as they make themselves out to be they would realise that all the religious person is doing is attributing something beautiful to an intelligence. nobody is saying there isn’t any laws of nature at work here, so what is the problem? get your finger’s out of your ass and learn to live with your fellow man.

    • GrammarPolice

      It’s “fingers” not “finger’s”. Apostrophes are used to denote ownership, among other things, but not quantity or volume…DUMBASS. So tell me again about this “intelligence” known as “god” because YOU ARE THE SMARTEST.

      • don mario

        if you are made so angry to write a period raged response based on incorrect spelling from a person in a internet comment section then wow, all i can do is pity you.

        and if you want to know about god why don’t you go and ask a religious person about it? you scummy little bastard.

        • religion is noob

          ur logic is just terribly wrong, he probably couldnt be fucked to explain to brainwashed guy like u, so he stated the obvious that u missed a comma or whatever coz u opened ur mouth, dont comment if u dont want these kind of responses specially if ur logic is 2000 years old

          • don mario

            logic about what? telling you to go ask a religious person about religion because i am not religious?

            its perfectly logical to anyone…..that is not a half functioning moron-such as yourself.

            explain what? i never asked him to explain anything. the inbred’s are out in force right now!

    • Pierre Ripplinger

      Having these artistic or scientific posts spammed with religious comments is like walking in a park, enjoying the beauty of the trees and ponds and having street preachers coming to you at every corner telling you how God is great and how ignorant you are for not having the same opinion as them. We don’t care if you believe that Xenu, Aliens, or The Cieling Cat made it. I don’t see arm chair scientists come at people telling them “look how no god’s work is amazing”, they just enjoy it, so it would be nice if religious people could let them do so.

      • don mario

        but my point was. they are saying -look how beautiful this thing made by ‘god’ made is. and the others are saying, look how beautiful this thing made by ‘science’ is.

        they are commenting on the same thing, something under the laws of nature, they are just calling it a different thing. come on now, this is not so hard to understand, it really isn’t so hard to be more tolerant. its hardly the same as an annoying cunt preacher in the street trying to convert vulnerable people.

        • Pierre Ripplinger

          No, you’re making a false equivalent here. Like I said, people don’t bring up their atheism unless someone shoves them a religious sign in the face. People talk about science and technology because it’s a post about science and technology as well as an artistic post, personal beliefs are irrelevant. We see that in science classes where teachers can’t do their job without some brainwashed kid disrupting the class to rant about how they know better than the teacher because their iman or priest told them so. If someone has to be more tolerant, it’s the theists who need to accept that not everyone needs their imaginary friends.

          • don mario

            no it is not a false equivalent. they are just appreciating how beautiful it is, and attatching it to their own beliefs. they never said you had to believe it to. it is just about tolerance, its quite a simple concept you fucking mong.

          • Pierre Ripplinger

            Talks about tolerance
            starts calling names.
            I can’t help but seing your icon with a Scumbag Steve cap on top of it now.

            Obviously they do use these posts to push their beliefs onto others. Why else would they say things like “how can someone say this is not designed?” This is quite annoying.
            I say it again: If someone has to be more tolerant, it’s the theists who need to accept that not everyone needs their imaginary friends.
            And it’s NOT intolerance to reply to these woo mongering posts. If you don’t want your opinions criticized, you don’t need to display them on a public forum. If you accept your opinions to be criticized, this is what tolerance is: a two ways street.
            Finally I don’t think you addressed any of my arguments, I think I’ve spent enough time on this thread so goodbye, you… How did you say, again? Fucking mong? Never heard that word before.

          • Pierre Ripplinger

            Oh wait, I looked it up. Mong as in mongolian, of course, says the troll who isn’t able to make an argument. So typical.

          • don mario

            i’m not trying to make an argument with you, there is nothing to argue. i made a very simple point of being TOLERANT. i don’t need to write an essay out to explain this. you just want to go on a religion bashing crusade, so i ended my discussion with you… by calling you a fucking MONG. because you are one. you don’t seem to know what it means but that doesn’t surprise me from such a ignorant fool.

          • Pierre Ripplinger

            As a non native english speaker, I’m not supposed to know every colloquialism and slangs you use when you run out of brain but I learned a few : moron, dipshit, imbecile, retard, goober, dim bulb, crackpot, goober, numbnut, fucktard, bonehead, dumbfuck, cretin… That’s all I have for you now but the list could be longer in my own language, pauvre con.

          • Julian Mitchell

            Funny how you use the work ‘tolerant’ in your diatribe?
            Of course religion and its looney followers have been and always are so very tolerant.
            If some idiot jumps in with a statement about the world being flat, are you suggesting that we don’t help them understand, but instead, just accept its their belief? Some of us don’t wish to live in the dark ages, where religion would have has stay.

  • luci

    Think long and hard about why you defend your position so fervently. Can you let people be, think, and feel as they wish with out wanting to change them? Just as you hold you opinion so dearly, so do others. Tolerance my dear people. (God I hope I spelled everything right???)

    • Julian Mitchell

      If people believe nonsense, that’s up to them, but to broadcast it as they typically do, and then cry ‘intolerance’ when they are chastised for their ignorance is lunacy. People used to believe the world was flat, and people died arguing it wasn’t. All religious nutters today have to worry about is someone putting them right on an internet forum, when they turn up with their pathetic beliefs

  • eonisee

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” – Albert Einstein

    • Weener

      “Thoughts without intuitions are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.” Kant

      Did Einstein really say that?

      • b

        love without u is nothing

        • nn


  • Freddy

    Hey guys – it’s called Nature – there are many things in the world that there’s only one of – like us. We are all a product of our environment – the world we live in. Snowflakes are beautiful to us – because they are so small and we are not used to seeing them in this light. But every morning when I get off the Crapper, there is a one of a kind that I have left behind – it’s still Nature and kind of a marvel when you think about it – but we don’t stand in awe about it – do we…? God made that sucker too :)

    • Freddy

      Oh Ya – Nice Pics… :)

  • Jason Gadacz

    Hey grammar Nazis, God is capitalized…Just saying

    • Preirin

      God may be but not all gods are.

    • Jen Stewart

      Not if you don’t believe in it… to atheists, gawd is just like any other garden-variety noun; no need to capitalise.

  • Aly

    First, these pictures are amazing! Sigh~ its magical

    Anyways, So here we are admiring snowflakes, and then the religious states that GOD created it. Each and every one of them. Now what happens when these snow flakes pile up enough to kill people? I’m sure the devil is too damn “hot” to be blamed. Seriously.

    Okay as for God(s) Whether they’re real or fake, as long as they can enlighten me and make me a better person, they’re worth learning from. That’s the best part about being an Atheist, I get the freedom to filter what I value.

  • Connor Ross

    The amazing looking ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical because they inherit the structure of water molecules as they grow into larger crystals, water molecules are six sided which is why all these flakes have some sort of six sided element to them. The extremities on the arms are determined by the atmospheric conditions, and the particles the crystals come into contact with which is why there is so much diversity. Denying that chaos cannot spawn some order is beyond unreasonable, you can drop 4 dice and the chances that they will all land on five is small but it’s still there. There is nothing “designer” about this, the beauty is in the knowledge of why it happens, If you can’t understand why things happen because it hurts your mind then you may default to a simpler reason that’s comfy for the mind which is that “someone” made it. To me this is boring as most things we come across in our daily modern lives have been designed (by a human person).

  • Ralph Prestwood

    Nature is amazing… but it got lost when people started talking about my god and this god. True you don’t need proof when it comes to religion … but then again I rather believe in reality and not be apart of the movement (religion) of what kills people since the time we learned about fire. But regardless of people exercising free speech… amazing

  • RobertBluesky

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day they utter speech and night unto night they show knowledge.” If you can’t hear them speaking to you then you have ears but cannot hear and you will conclude there is no God. If your ears are opened the intricate beauty of the snowflakes declares the glory of God.



  • Robokopp

    Thank you Alexey for sharing your love of snowflakes and for describing how to set up a system to take these photographs. It’s refreshing that there are people left in the world to share their passion for free. You take beautiful photographs!

  • im a dreamer 13

    this is confusing im just trying to wonder what other equipments to photographers use? but im getting confuse and i cant find anything can!! can someone please help me? does anyone know what website i can go on to see where i can find out. what others equipment photographers use!!!! PLEASE!!!! Thank you