As you crush the snow under your laced-up boots today, think about the perfect and unique snowflakes you are mashing in to slush. Such a temporary and artful work of nature, the snowflake, and recently photographer Alexey Kljatov captured some extreme close-ups of their beauty. Kijatov told us this morning, "Melting, wind, bad focusing and my own laziness is serious trouble in this task" of documenting them, and he elaborated on his technique in a post on his website earlier this year:

"I capture snowflakes at open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by LED flashlight from opposite side of glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background. Previously, i shoot using Canon A650's standard macro mode. For this, from a small plastic bottle I cut central cylindrical part in the form of a tube (height 5.5 cm). This height I picked up so that the lens of the camera, pushed in a tube, will be at distance 1 centimeter from the bottom (this is minimum focusing distance of Canon A650 in macro mode). I just put this cylinder with the camera's lens within it over the chosen snowflake, the lens looks vertically down."

That's right, these were all taken with an old point and shoot, albeit rigged up with an SLR lens... and the snowflakes are as small as 1-2 millimeters!