Dec 17, 2012
You know those stunningly symmetrical, glittery snowflakes you see everywhere at a certain time of year -- hanging from streetlights, stitched on sweaters, and sprinkled all over tv? Those perfectly-etched pictures are all a big lie. Latif Nasser explains how it all began in a cold, snowy farm in Vermont in 1880, when a kid named Wilson Bentley put a snowflake under a microscope and started a lifelong quest to capture perfection. Bentley took tens of thousands of photos throughout his life, and his books catalog a decades-long parade of gorgeous, six-sided works of natural art. But his crystal-clear vision of reality was tied to a set of ideals that ultimately blinded him from the cold, hard facts in front of him. Snowflake expert and photographer Ken Libbrecht helps set the record straight, even as he chases after more and more perfect flakes.
Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity
Duncan C. Blanchard, The Snowflake Man: A Biography of Wilson A Bentley
Ken Libbrecht, Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes
W.A. Bentley, Snowflakes in Photographs