Innovation and Photographing Snowflakes


I am always delighted to hear from people who try the things from my videos, but it makes me especially happy when someone takes the process a step beyond. Twelve year old Lincoln R of New Jersey didn't struggle trying to take photos through his microscope. Instead, he used Legos to build a phone stand to help him photograph snowflakes.

This is the kind of creativity that I admire. How many of us struggled to hold our cameras still, or purchased expensive phone mounts, when all we really needed was a box of Legos, and someone clever enough to show us how to do it?

While this innovation may seem simple, it makes me think of the great inventors, such as Faraday and Tesla. They could not just run down to the hardware store to buy the parts they needed. They had to build them out of whatever they could lay their hands on. Often they had to invent the tools they needed, to construct the parts they needed, in order to build the thing they wanted to invent. Who knows what Galileo would have done with a box of Legos?

He also got some great photos of snowflakes. Looking in Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes, this one is a stellar plate, which only forms under special conditions, when the temperature and humidity are just right. I have not been lucky enough to see one of these in our Utah snows, so I was particularly happy to see this one.

Anonymous wrote on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 15:29:

snowflakes are so cool please send me some more pictures

Armanfarm wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 09:51:

Very innovative Lincoln! Love to see you using your creative thinking to improve a process. Wonderful photo also!

jayratt wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 19:06:

We had just come back in from taking pictures - not very good ones unfortunately - using our first snow in a while when I got your update email.
Thanks for all the great info you share.

spagfam6 wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 15:25:

how did he get it on the happy scientist? the problem is that it doesn't snow where we live. great job Lincoln R!!!!!!!!!!!

rkrampf wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 23:55:

His Mom sent me the photos to show me what they had done, and I was so impressed that I asked if I could use them in a blog post.

cassie wrote on Sun, 01/26/2014 - 12:06:

I would have tried the experiment, it looks so much fun!! But we have not had snow since last year!! APRIL 6th was when we had snow.