I'm more than mesmerized by his work; just stunning, I'm in complete awe!
This was back in the 1860s and very difficult. The Smithsonian has some of his works on display. It is great how accessible this has become. I find them fascinating but I'm very biased. I have quite an extreme love of snow.
Going by the Bruce Lee quote "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times". Only in this case kick = photography. There is definitely value in practicing a singular art with focus.
I have a friend who makes rock documentaries and his boss will often rent an $8K camera. My friend sometimes shoots on a $500 DSLR, and once mixed in some of his footage. His boss could tell the difference, but it wasn't significant, and it made him wonder why they even rented the nicer camera.
You could give me the best camera in the world and my pictures would still be "Meh". It's not the camera that makes the difference.
A DSLR will read the sensor progressively, from top to bottom. So if an image changes from the top of the frame to the bottom (if the camera pans or an object moves horizontally) the top is recorded slightly before the bottom, leading to a "tilting" effect. This would be really noticeable if you were to follow someone around with a steadicam, or had objects moving across the screen with any real speed.
When I watch short amateur films on Youtube this effect can ruin the whole experience for me, since I can't stop noticing it. However, a shot of a rock show (crowd or stage) would likely be busy enough to make the effect unnoticeable. There are probably algorithms that fix it too, especially if the film is shot at a higher resolution than is being output (to allow adjustments at the edges of frame).
> The smaller the focal length of the external lens and bigger - of built-in camera's optics, the greater magnification is achieved, but less depth of field is obtained. Compact camera, with a sensor of small physical size, have an advantage over DSLRs in the depth of field and mobility, allowing you to take pictures quickly and easily change the location and shooting angle. But small sensor have much higher noise level.
However, a larger sensor probably would have larger pixels, which would help with lighting and noise reduction.
You actually don't need the telephoto, though. You can get a reversing ring that mounts a prime lens directly to the camera. I took this using a 50mm lens on a full frame body, no focus stacking: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/498/19387253482_cfdb183b3a_c.j...
If you use a shorter focal length lens, you'll get a higher magnification. I've used a 28mm in the past but wasn't very happy with the image quality.
Because of the huge number of water molecules floating around, it should be statistically likely that all sides of the snowflake will be hit and grow evenly. But the tips of the hexagon will be slightly more likely to be hit since they are protuding a little bit. Thus the tips will grow outwards and will be even more likely to get water molecules stuck to them. Eventually the tips will get large enough that molecules will stick to their sides, creating new growing branches. And those branches will eventually grow other branches and so on in a fractal manner.
The saturation of water molecules and the temperature are the conditions for how often the snowflake is hitnby water molecules and how much they jiggle around before getting stuck. As the snowflake falls through the air, these conditions change, which creates all the varied forms of snowflakes.
Should try to put it up on Shadertoy...
The ones people like to photograph are the symmetric 2D ones, so there's just a lot of selection bias going on. But, the ones that are symmetric, are that way because all of the branches experienced the same environment on the way down. Most of them are not perfectly symmetric, and differ quite a bit, but photographers tend to select only the most symmetric ones.
The website in  has an overview of how to get started in snowflake photography if you want to give it a try. I've done it quite a bit myself, but unfortunately I don't get the opportunity very often.
"Ice crystals are like a six-sided prism. This prism grows as more ice molecules stick to its faces. It turns out that under conditions found in common snowstorms, some facets in XY plane tend to grow much faster than the facets along the main axis of the crystal. As a result, snowflakes usually end up looking like flat pancakes with many finger-like branches"
Sorry for repeating my post, but I figure you may enjoy the linked article.
Additionally, two documentaries spring to mind. Forces of Nature and The Code: Numbers Shape and Prediction.
Selection by the photographer might create the impression of a more prevalent, more perfect symmetry than appears in nature.
Reminds me of Wilson Bentley's old photos: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Bentley
In the meantime, you may be interested in this:
Plus, the pictures are sublime.
I'd read about doing the reverse-lens thing but never seen a setup and couldn't imagine how it'd work.
Also, the description of his post-processing is revealing. Great to see how much work goes into pictures like that.
A reverser ring for a e.g. 50mm to do macro is quite common in photography. Extender rings work quite nice too, though depth of field becomes mega-shallow, so for any significant object, you will need to resort to image stacking to get a properly focused subject.