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Snowflake photography show at Portage Hill

February 27, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

WESTFIELD - Portage Hill Art Gallery is pleased to be hosting a winter show called "Carol Posch Comstock: Capturing Fleeting Beauty - Snowflake Photography."

This show will include works Comstock calls lake effect lace. Her art pieces are created from photos she takes of fresh snowflakes from the Lake Erie region. The show is open through Saturday, March 2 at the gallery on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other times to view this show are available by appointment or chance at Portage Hill Art Gallery.

2013 will mark 40 years since Comstock first received her first 35mm SLR as a gift from her father. Photography has been her life's passion ever since. About a dozen years ago, she discovered a book of snowflake images by Wilson Bentley. In 1885 he became the first person to ever photograph a snowflake. Inspired by Bentley's work, Comstock decided to pursue snowflake photography and investigated how to do it. She has learned with a passion for something, anything can be accomplished, no matter how difficult it seems at first.

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Portage Hill Art Gallery is hosting a winter show by photographer Carol Posch Comstock, pictured above, called “Capturing Fleeting Beauty — Snowflake Photography.”

One of the challenges she encountered was a snowflake is not a frozen raindrop, but rather a single crystal of ice that grows directly from water vapor in the air. The process takes about 15 minutes, as the snowflake slowly drifts to earth. Once it has landed, however, it may disappear in seconds, making it nearly impossible to photograph.

The sentiment "follow your bliss" from mythologist Joseph Campbell made a big impression on Comstock years ago. She found this to be wonderful advice that taught her enthusiasm, as well as patience and perseverance she needed to perfect this photography process.

The beautiful geometry and individuality of each snowflake make them compelling subjects to Comstock. She is driven to stay outside in the cold for hours, eager to see each new flake she can catch. The optimal temperature for this work is 5 to 10 degrees, and requires her utmost stamina and patience. She is now in her sixth year of photographing snowflakes. This has been a project she has put her whole heart into, and it has been a true source of happiness for her.

Like many, Comstock feels fortunate to have found a way to truly appreciate and celebrate the season of winter. Audrey and Donald Dowling, owners of the Portage Hill Art Gallery, welcome visitors to see how Comstock captures the beauty of snowflakes through her photographic works.

Portage Hill Art Gallery is located on Route 394 between Mayville and Westfield. Now in its 31st year of business, Portage Hill Art Gallery is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter with other times being available by chance or appointments. Reach the owners at 326-4478. Find more information about the gallery at



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