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16 November 2021, 14:34

Man obsessed with capturing snowflakes under a microscope for 15 years


BEIJING, 16 November (BelTA - Xinhua). - Zhang Chao, an avid micrograph enthusiast from Beijing, recently reproduced a number of photographs of snowflakes pictured under his microscope for the public, with the images welcoming the city's first snowfall of the winter.

His images showcased the extraordinary details of snowflakes, which were well-received by netizens online, who praised him for giving others a chance to appreciate such natural beauty. “I cannot think of any words to describe the unique beauty of snowflakes,” many online users commented below his images. Zhang said that he had not expected that his photographs could become an Internet sensation.

Zhang came up with the idea of photographing the snowflakes in 2006. Inspired by snowflake pictures from an overseas photographer, he managed to shoot his first collection after two years of self-exploration.

“I was so excited at the sight of a snowflake in its beautiful shape under a microscope. However, if an unexpected wind just blew it away, I would regret not having taken a snapshot earlier,” Zhang said.

Having captured the images of snowflakes for years, Zhang also has a special attachment to these wonderful objects. “Each snowflake is unique. The most stunning and biggest one I have ever seen is the one from northeast China, with a diameter reaching 2 cm,” said the man.

Zhang faced many challenges when photographing snowflakes. For instance, since snowflakes are small in size and fragile, “the shooting requires a relatively reliable snowfall and the temperature should be low enough,” said Zhang, adding that “generally, minus 7 degrees Celsius to minus 8 degrees Celsius can be suitable for shooting, which can prevent the snowflakes from melting.”

Zhang still remembered clearly that during his first shooting trip in north China's Hebei province, he needed to run back inside every 20 minutes to stay warm, spending a whole night to take fewer than 10 pictures. In comparison, this year it took him about three hours to capture more than 20 pictures during the winter's first snowfall.

Zhang's more than 15 years of steady practice has honed his sophisticated photographing skills. When it comes to the motivation that has driven his persistence, Zhang said it was all about his passion. “I was really curious about various snowflakes and wanted to explore more. I gradually found it was interesting to collect pictures of snowflakes,” he recalled.

Driven by Zhang's enthusiasm, his wife also got engaged in his microscopic world. The couple co-published a book entitled “The Noble Snowflake,” displaying more than 1,000 amazing microscopic pictures of snowflakes.

“I will keep on photographing snowflakes every year. For me, the winter season would not be complete without shooting snowflakes,” said Zhang..

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