The Beautiful Thing That Happens When You Project Video Onto Falling Snow

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Colorful, digital confetti

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Brian Maffitt/Flickr

As snow fell across the northeast over the weekend, Brian Maffitt of Chestnut Ridge, New York, had a brilliant idea: Project a movie, with the falling flakes as his screen. He set up his camera (a Canon EOS 7D) at his upstairs window where a pine tree ensured a dark backdrop, and started filming. The result was beautiful:

The film Maffitt chose to project was "The Lorax," he explained to me over email, "for the sole reason that it was at the top of the list under 'Children's Movies' on Netflix," where, he presumed, the movies with the greatest color saturation tend to cluster. The music comes from the stock options included in Final Cut Pro.

As the snow came down faster and faster and got blown around by the winds, "the intended colors were lost, replaced by pure red, green, and blue dots, produced by the rotating color wheel on the front of the single-chip DLP video projector." Still photographs from Maffitt's Flickr page capture this effect:

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Brian Maffitt/Flickr

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Brian Maffitt/Flickr

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Brian Maffitt/Flickr

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Brian Maffitt/Flickr

"It proved," Maffitt writes, "to be an extremely fortunate confluence of nature and digital."



Thanks to @stevesilberman for the tip.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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