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Each frame was taken five seconds after the other. They are playing back at 4 frames per second. A drop of water with dissolved magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) is evaporating on a microscope slide. A 10x objective lens is used, and a Canon T2i camera is recording 18 megapixel (5184×3456) images. During the shoot, I occasionally change the focus (since the crystals are growing vertically as well as spreading out) and the position of the slide to keep interesting growth in the field of view. The light is polarized, and an anisotropic retarding filter is used so that some wavelengths of light cancel out (for example, the deep red-violet is caused by a lack of green light). The images are then downscaled to 2400×1600 to fit on my monitor, and put together into a video. We’ll see what size the video ends up as on YouTube. I expect at least 1920×1080, but they might go the whole 2400×1600. [Note: it turned out they only went 720p — disappointing, since I normally put up 1080p these days. From now on I’ll have to downscale them myself to 1920×1080 so that YouTube might get it right.] The original video was 776 megabytes, and lasts one minute. The blocky noise in the space where there are no crystals is a compression artifact, despite setting the quality controls for 100%. Presumably YouTube will add more compression, so there might be more noise. At 29 seconds in, you can see the effect of a bit of dust in the water interfering with the growth of one of the crystals, creating

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