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The Snowflake Man (a short film about Snowflake Bentley) (1)

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It's magical! You look out the window and you see those first snowflakes start to fall, and you can't help it get little excited that you know this going to be a big storm in. Penning on the weather,the temperature, humidity, everything you wanna take consideration ... that is not supposed to be any two alike! In a time before computers, digital cameras and even electricity, 10 year old - Wilson Bentley had a dream, to capture the beauty of a snow crystal. Always! From the very beginning, it is the snowflakes that fascinated me most! The farm folks up in this country,dread the winter. But I was, supremely happy. How I think, the whole thing is incredibly..... strange and special. The idea of this guy, running around chasing snowflakes, and making this negatives of them, its just so astonishing! its its so ..... obsessive and passionate and ... to make a thing, life's work, its great story! Bentley was born on February 9th, 1865, in Jericho, Vermont. His father was a farmer and his mother was a teacher. His mother had an old microscope, she used in school teaching. So, Bentley sat out in a shed, in the back of the house, using the old microscope and looking at snow crystals, he did this again and again and again. Bentley was a lover of nature and he was infactuated with his symmetry of the snowflake. There was hexagonal beauty in the structures themselves. I became possessed with a great desire to show people this wonderful loveliness. He said , he had to get a camera. this.. this is the actual piece that he purchased. this... it's a bellows camera. The rest of it, he had to adapt for the camera and then add the microscope on to it. One of the problems he had was that, the microscope was in the front and he had a view the....the snowflake from behind and he was unable to reach in focus, so what he did he designed this pulley system with strings and somewhat in wheels and he attached to the five focus of the microscope. So that when he was behind the camera looking through it, he will be able to focus the microscope, to get a clear picture of the snowflake. At that time, when photography was probably only 20 years old, and most of it was portrait photography. So, to inner face the camera with a microscope was a rather unique thing. The actual making of these photographs, couldn't have been more difficult could not have been harder, it got this guy chasing around in some field. but this piece of black cover catching the thing on.... you know... catching the snowflake on the piece of black cover .. in.... with a feather. The hand chuckins ... and he would get a feather... its almost .... feathers... picked up a feather and with that feather, he could move that snowflake around to get just the ones he wanted it, push away the others. He bring it back in the shed, and very carefully look at and if he found a snow crystal, he want the photograph he would pick it up, very gently and put it on the microscope slide. Then he would put that in front of camera and point the camera out into the storm. So, we imply, he worked with transmitted light. He had no electricity, so he had to use the light natural light, that he was able to get. It could take him many hours from may be 20 seconds maybe 2 minutes for exposure but.... that's how he had. On January 15th, 1885, Wilson Bentley took the very first photograph of a snow crystal. The day that I developed the first negative made by this method I felt like falling on my knees beside that apparatus and worshipping it. I knew then, that what I had dreamed of doing was possible. It was the greatest moment of my life. They are beautiful photographs first and foremost and I think that.. that's the product ... that sort of single.. single-minded vision, just to get it right to make them look handsome. This was his obsession, for the rest of his life. I think you could compare it to the Holy Grail, he was searching for that most magnificient of all snow crystals. Over a thosand hands, a thousand cameras, to preserve more this exquisite beauty, so lavishly scattered over the Earth. Bentley was motivated from within and not from his family who.. ..who kinda looked down their nose at what he was doing. His father and brother never appreciated what he did and they thought it was an absolute waste of time. That's all his work to do on the farm. He sat.... taking pictures of stupid snowflakes! In spite of the lack of understanding and support, Bentley went on to take over five thousand photographs of snowflakes. Well! it's remarkable that he was able to photograph as many photographs as he did in a relatively short period of time. Taken some days, he.. he was able to photograph more than 50 snow crystals in a single day or single snow storm. I think he was just.. just looking up just really getting off on a total weirdness and beauty and specialness of them. It's not the same kind of world that we had in those days. I don't think people would want to spend that amount of time. They don't have time for this... time for that.. I have got to do this, I have got an appointment here.. no way! In the fall of 1931, after years of effort, Bentley finally convinced a publisher to print a complete collection of his snow crystal images. 2 days after thanksgiving, 3 copies of his book arrived in the mail. And I had to believe he was just over joyed at that. However, he did not have too much time to enjoy. A week or so later, I believe he was coming back from Jericho and I have been told it was pretty cold out pretty wet and some snow down on my ground. and he got pneumonia. They had a nurse coming, but it was too late. He was getting sicker and sicker, and 2 days before christmas, 1931 he died. When he died, I felt badly about it because I just know that we had lost, somebody that was far ahead of everybody else in this particular science. By and large, I think most people don't realise who.. who Bentley was and yet most of the time when you see an image of this snowflake, it's either the actual image that.. Bentley took or photographed or it's an artist's reconstruction of that snowflake. I think! he is very happy. that so many are beginning to appreciate what he had been doing. Really! I hope he is.. but I have no idea.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 33 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 88
Posted by: schoogle on Nov 23, 2015

The Snowflake Man (a short film about Snowflake Bentley) (1)

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