Snowflake photographer designs new $20 coin for Royal Canadian Mint
A photographer in Barrie, Ont., has turned a signature aspect of one of his least favourite seasons into his most recognizable work.
Don Komarechka has taken thousands of up-close images of snowflakes and for the second straight year, his work will be featured on a collector’s edition coin.
The one-ounce $20 Royal Canadian Mint pure silver coin features three blue snowflakes with 13 smaller snowflakes surrounding them. The smaller ones are engraved to the exact size as the real snowflakes.
“The real magic for me in that coin is all the smaller little snowflakes that are sprinkled around it,” Komarechka told CTV Barrie Tuesday. “Those are engraved with incredible detail.”
The Mint is only making 6,000 of these coins and is selling the $20 coin for $113.95. Komarechka’s coin last year featured one large blue snowflake and is sold out.
Komarechka specializes in nature and macro photography. He’s worked with the BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic to document different aspects of nature up close.
Of all his photography, Komarechka’s most famous work comes with snowflakes. On top of the coins, snowflakes were the subject of his photography book and some of his photos will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum.
“There's trillions of snowflakes falling outside and you think, ‘Wow, if every one of those is as beautiful as the one that I just took pictures of, it's humbling,’” he said.
The idea to photograph snowflakes came eight years ago after one landed on a black knitted glove his grandmother made for him. From there, he noticed the hidden beauty of the flakes.
“(The glove) makes the perfect background for a snowflake,” he said. “It's now become almost a tradition to use grandma's mitten for a background for every one of my snowflake photographs and she is just over the moon about it.”
Komarechka catches the snowflakes on a glass slide with a drop of super glue on it -- where they can be preserved forever.
Despite Komarechka’s fascination with snowflakes, he’s no fan of the winter.
“The work that I do with snowflakes is two feet from my back door,” he said. “That's comfortable for me because I can jump back inside next to the woodstove.”
With a report from CTV Barrie’s K.C. Colby