Capturing snowflakes under a microscope

Story highlights

  • Michael Peres loves photographing "very small things"
  • He mounted his camera to a bellows to shoot images through a microscope
  • Peres has 30 seconds to 2 minutes to shoot, depending on the temperature

(CNN)Michael Peres is obsessed with photographing snowflakes with a microscope.

He catches the snowflakes on a piece of black velvet, runs into his garage and places the delicate flakes on a microscope slide with a dissecting needle before they melt. Using envelopes or newspapers as background, he captures colors reflected in the magnified flakes.
Peres attached his camera lens to a bellows atop a microscope in this homemade set-up.
His hobby began 13 years ago, when the photography professor at Rochester Institute of Technology first began tinkering with how to capture the fleeting beauty of individual flakes before they melted.
"I have a love-hate relationship with winter," said Peres, who has lived in Rochester, New York, for 30 years. "I hate shoveling and cleaning my car off, but there's no other way to photograph snowflakes if you're not in a place where it snows."
Peres shares his photos of snowflakes and other objects on his Instagram account with the hashtag #tinythings.