On January 15, 1885, a Vermont farmer named Wilson A. Bentley combined a bellows camera and a microscope and became the first to photograph the beauty of snowflakes with what become known as photomicrography.
Regarding the project he famously said,
Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design, and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost.
His method was to catch the snowflakes on black velvet and quickly photograph them before they disappeared. In 1931 he published a photography book, “Snow Crystals”, which featured photographs of 2,500 different snowflakes.
If you’re interested in owning a piece of photographic history, 10 pioneering snowflake images by “The Snowflake Man” are currently for sale at the American Antiques Show in New York City, priced at $4,800 each. If you don’t have that kind of money to spend, how about becoming the modern day equivalent of “The Snowflake Man” by figuring out how to photograph something no one has photographed before?