High school science teacher and photographer Tom Wagner captures remarkably vibrant colors in ice crystals through the use of an ingenious custom photography setup. The dramatic, iridescent colors are not visible with the naked eye–Wagner uses a pair of polarizing filters to bring out the colors. The filters–sourced from 3D movie glasses–are placed in front and behind a sheet of glass on which ice crystals have formed. When photographed through this polarized sandwich, the crystals display a rainbow of colors through an optical phenomenon known as birefringence.
Wagner has posted a how-to guide for anyone interested in replicating his technique.
photos by Tom Wagner