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Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes

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Snowflakes are temporary works of art, tiny crystalline masterpieces, each as different from the next as one person is from another. If you would like to look closer at these marvelous creations - and understand their patterns - this handy, pocket-sized book will serve as your introduction to the art and science of the snowflake.

As entertaining as it is informative, this comprehensive field guide describes the many different types of snowflakes, where and how to find them, and what can be learned from their intricate structures and patterns. Also included are handy tips for intrepid snowflake hunters, including what type of snowflakes to expect during certain weather conditions, opportune ways for capturing them (the author prefers the brightly-lit tops of parking garages at night, for example).

Illustrated with Libbrecht's own remarkable microphotographs of real snowflakes, the book is itself a work of art, as delightful to look at as it is to learn from, and as full of wonder as it is rich with answers. An excellent guide for snowflake lovers, classrooms, family fun, as well as the serious or amateur scientist. 

112 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2006

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Ken Libbrecht

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Lena.
60 reviews12 followers
February 3, 2017
This is a small, lovely and incredibly informative book written about the phenomenon of nature I love most of all: a book about snow! Did you know that one may tell the whole biography of a snowflake out of its appearance? Are you aware, that the white diamond dust around you is full of elaborated forms and shapes? Once you have read this book you will discover the beauty of the snowy world which you would never want to leave.
"Get your magnifier and venture outside during the next snowfall. Witness firsthand these diminutive ice masterpieces. You may be amazed by what you find".
Profile Image for Amina Mirsakiyeva.
511 reviews39 followers
February 23, 2018
This book was a part of the course "Arctic Science" by University of Umeå, Sweden. I enjoyed that this small book gave plenty structural information about snowflakes physics with enormous amount of visualization. The author is great scientist, teacher and photographer.
21 reviews3 followers
January 5, 2009
Love this book. Ken is an amazing photographer. I love this book, because not only does ken explain different types of snow crystals and at what temperatures they appear, but he also delves into snowflake symmetry, and gives a complete guide on how to go about finding and photographing such specimens yourself. Gotta love ken, snowflakes, and my favorite, stellar dendrites. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in snowflakes period. You can also many of his shots online! Gorgeous!
Profile Image for Penelope.
48 reviews3 followers
February 12, 2010
Possibly my favorite book of all time. A must have for anyone in snow country. Awe inspiring.
Profile Image for Nakarem.
377 reviews
January 24, 2022
Okay, look.
It's pretty good and has beautiful pictures and great illustrations....but it's SO repetitive.
I learned a lot but I feel like I learned most things on the first 15 pages or sth.
Also who is this book for? Because some things are never explained (aka expects some basic knowledge of eg. the structure of water molecules) but others are repeated over and over again and it's written in an everyday language - which, on the other hand, makes me think the guide is "for everyone".

Just. I enjoyed it and learned a lot but it felt like it could have been more concise?
Profile Image for Kate.
150 reviews14 followers
December 20, 2022
“The little charms prick.”

This quote from Tiny Surrealism, a book about Salvador Dalí’s affinity for small objects, is beautifully applicable to Libbrecht’s snowflake field guide. The book is both informative and enchanting. It is not simply a guide to viewing and photographing snowflakes, but a reminder to meditate on the present moment, to understand nature, and to appreciate all the small soft phenomena of the world. Tiny details of nature can be monumentally captivating.
Profile Image for Katie Brown.
11 reviews
February 10, 2021
Really awesome book that explains snowflake formation, types of snowflakes, and how to capture images of snowflakes.
Profile Image for Kristal Stidham.
694 reviews8 followers
December 8, 2015
Much like looking at the stars, the layman likely doesn't get much further than casual observation when it comes to snowflakes. Unlike astronomy though, one doesn't need classes in physics and calculus to really understand snow -- you just need this compact book. Libbrecht does an amazing job of breaking down the myriad types of flakes and giving at least a basis for understanding how each came to be. Throughout, each example is beautifully illustrated with examples from the author's photograph collection.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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