Snowflakes Up Close

Curators’ Corner

Snowflakes Up Close

In 2015, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans shared Instagram photos of star-shaped snowflakes from Winter Storm Juno, the “Snowmageddon” that infamously dematerialized to become “snow big deal.”

Those were cool, but Buffalo photographer Douglas Levere is taking the art of capturing snowflakes using a microscope and a simple tube camera attachment. Levere, who is best known for recreating Berenice Abbott’s decades-old images of New York City with her exact camera, became fascinated with snowflakes after stumbling upon Kenneth G. Libbrecht’s super-zoomed snowflake portraits and ordering prints for his then infant’s room.

“I realized that I could do this myself and I was living in the right place to do it,” Levere told the Huffington Post.

He’s certainly right about that. Buffalo is known for its lake-effect snow, which piles on nearly 100 inches of snowfall per year and frequently buries the city with extreme snow events.

“Buffalo has been derided for so long with the volumes of snow this region get,” Levere said. “So it is wonderful to have found a way to embrace this scar and be able to show the beauty of what is in plain sight.”

Coming off a feature spread in the New Yorker and a successful exhibition with fellow Buffalo photographer Alan Friedman, Levere’s imagery is capturing imaginations far and wide. Yet it’s still the experience itself he touts more than the exposure.

“It is a joy to just look at these gems,” he told Huff Post. “It is fascinating to discover each and every flake. And to see the fascination and appreciation when people see the large prints on the wall in a gallery.”

That’s enough background from us. Now feast your eyes on a few of Levere’s amazing photos below, and visit his website to see more of his work.

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All images © Douglas Levere