Winter’s not over yet, so why not have fun with it? Whether you’re a snow enthusiast (like me) or you can’t wait until the thaw comes, you have to admit that snow is pretty amazing in all its properties. Looking through our archives, I compiled this collection of snow-related projects, the fascinating science of snow, maker-made snow videos, and eye candy snow art.
The photograph above is by talented snow expert and Caltech physics professor Ken Libbrecht.
Are you feeling left out of the snowmageddon but live in a cold environment? Not to worry. Former Make: Labs intern Steven Lemos shows you how to make your own snow gun to cover your world in white gold. You just need about $90 worth of parts: a few items from your local hardware store, some quality spray nozzles, and access to a pressure washer and an air compressor. (From MAKE Volume 21)
Ice globes are super easy to make and look dreamy in the snow, lining your deck or walkway. The instructions couldn’t really be simpler: basically you fill up a balloon with water, let it freeze, cut the balloon off, drill a candle hole, pop in a candle, and revel in the sweet glow.
Fort Wayne, Ind., maker Aaron Makin believes you shouldn’t have to go outside to plow every time it snows. Instead, he shared his how-to for making a remote control snowblower that you can build for under $1,000 in eight hours.
Tired of the lift lines and tracked snow at your local ski area? If you’re a snowboarder itching for backcountry adventure, check out MAKE contributing illustrator Damien Scogin’s how-to from MAKE Volume 20 that details chopping an existing snowboard in half and using the Voile Split Kit to convert it into a splitboard (skin up the mountain, reattach the two halves with the hardware, and ride pow).
Lake Tahoe-area photographer Tom Falconer takes gorgeous pics of his often snowy environment. In particular, his frozen bubble shots are a sight to behold. We reached out to him and he was kind enough to share his tips and tricks.
If you’re a hardcore cyclist who doesn’t want to let winter get in your way, check out MAKE community member Chad Schneider’s tutorial on how to add studs and chains to your bike tires for traction.
Should you desire a tasty beverage to go with your snow play, nothing beats a Dark and Snow-Stormy, a classic Dark and Stormy that starts with a cup full of snow. For best results, use fresh powder, serve at elevation, and garnish with mini pine cones.
Caltech physics professor Ken Libbrecht is one of the most well known snowflake scientists and photographers, having written several books on the subject including Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes and The Art of the Snowflake: A Photographic Album. Check out the details of his photo-microscope rig and see how you can take stunner shots like the one above.
Even though this project has nothing to do with real snow, who doesn’t love a giant snow globe? This how-to, by our own Technical Editor Sean Michael Ragan, starts with this memorable line: “This project began when I, myself, realized that deep need — that every man knows sooner or later in his life — which can only be satisfied by a say-hello-to-my-little-friend snow globe.”
The American Chemical Society has a great two-minute video explaining the basic chemistry behind snowflake formation, including how each degree of temperature difference adds to the branches of the flake. Are no two snowflakes really alike? It depends on if we’re talking about big snowflakes or little ones.
In MAKE Volume 21, Forrest M. Mims teaches us how to evaluate snow on the ground as a heat island indicator as well as a particle collector. Mims takes it further and shows how to use ImageJ image analysis software to study your snow pictures.
What better way to light up a snowy night than to slash deep powder turns with a custom LED suit? Fashion photographer and filmmaker Jacob Sutton shot this awesome video of pro snowboarder William Hughes riding the slopes of Tignes in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France wearing a suit made by John Spatcher.
Inspired by the post above, the folks at Whistler, B.C.-based Switchback Entertainment made a short video for Salomon Freeski TV featuring EL-wire embellished skiers (and some seriously drool-worthy powder shots). The video was filmed using only small headlamps, moonlight, and EL wire as light sources.
Another awesome video by Switchback Entertainment, this one mixes fire and ice, creating the illusion of skiers slashing through a newly burnt forest. It’s so visually engaging, I just had to ask how they did it. Switchback’s Jeff Thomas, who directed, filmed, and edited The Burn, shared details of how they filmed it, the programs they used for effects, and the custom R/C helicopter that got the hard shots. Read the full post for all the deets.
When we hosted our first Drones Invitational at MAKE HQ, I had the pleasure of meeting the talented gentlemen of the Drone Dudes, a Los Angeles-based collective of filmmakers, designers, and drone experts. They shared their tales of being on-location in the mountains of Canada to film the new Nike snowboarding flick, “Never Not.” Andrew H. Peterson, Drone Dudes pilot and cinematographer, shared details of their experience, including the trials of running their gear at altitude in the snow.
From large-scale snowshoe art to a snow AT-AT, a rainbow igloo, and the coolest two feet of snow:
Also, not exactly snow, but definitely frosty eye candy, check out photographer Gary Jensen’s images of the epic defrosting of Chicago’s Fulton Market Cold Storage Company, a 10-story building in the meatpacking district for 90 years: