Monday, December 22, 2014

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Finger Lakes

An Up-Close Look at One Professor's Winter Hobby

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Rochester: An Up-Close Look at One Professor's Winter Hobby
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Rochester's long, cold, snowy winters are certainly easier to take if you have a hobby that takes you outdoors. A local college professor is making the most of the recent winter storm.

"Winter's kind of isolating. The color of it. The temperatures associated with it."

Michael Peres is no meteorologist.

"Every flake is beautiful."

But he still knows snow.

"The great flakes just start. I'm always looking at my jacket to see, oh yeah... these are good ones. Gets to be an obsessive compulsive sort of thing."

The RIT professor sees it more up-close than most. From his garage workshop.

"They're so beautiful. You can try to make them look like silver, or glass, or quartz."

Using lights, filters, a microscope, and a camera, Peres documents nature's beauty.

"Whatever you see disappears more or less in front of your very eyes, so you get to see something very few people do."

No two snowflakes are alike.

"Nope, not a single flake."

Using velvet on a tray, Peres captures them.

"And I walk around, my neighbors think I'm nuts, and I'm looking for good flakes."

"They're very tiny. So you just sorta have to be patient."

Peres says he started his hobby about ten years ago. The professor of biomedical photography was approached by a student, who wanted to figure out the best way to photograph snowflakes.

"This was an easy extension of that work. Rather than working with preserved specimens in between slices of glass and stained, I work with natural objects that fall from the sky."

Each crystal is unique.

"Theres some really tiny flakes here."

Different in it's own stunning way. For Peres, no better way to pass time, in a long, cold Rochester winter.

"It's a lot of fun." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP