Carol Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:44 am
FROZEN BUBBLES: Science teacher Tom Wagner of Waterloo, Iowa, is an avid photographer of snowflakes.
Over the years he has discovered a great way to catch large flakes in mid-air: "I blow a soap bubble and allow the snowflake to land on it," he explains. Once the snowflake is properly corralled, the photography is relatively easy.
Last week when the Polar Vortex descended over Iowa, Wagner went outdoors to capture some more snowflakes. Just one problem: It was so cold outside, the soap bubbles themselves froze: "I made a decision to photograph these frozen bubbles on the snow," says Wagner. "The sun was 20 minutes from setting so I had to act fast. Most of the bubbles popped when they landed but with some practice I discovered a technique that resulted in quite a few remaining intact."
"After a few pictures at home I hurried over to a nearby cemetery where there was still several more minutes of direct sunlight. The men digging nearby must have wondered what I was doing blowing little bubbles onto the snow then lying next to them with my camera in hand. Having the sun in the immediate background illuminated the fern-like crystals growing within the curved bubble skin."
More of Wagner's cold weather photography may be found on his Facebook page. http://www.spaceweather.com