The dazzling result of crossing Dr. Seuss with a blizzard

The colorful result of what a movie looks like when projected on a heavy snow in Chestnut Ridge, New York on Feb. 8, 2013. (Photo Courtesy: Brian Maffitt)

Many of you have seen videos of the incredible amounts of snow that fell across New England on Friday night.

But videographer Brian Maffitt of Chestnut Ridge, NY did something a little different with the snow -- he stuck a video projector out the window and filmed how the snow interacted with the multitude of projected colors.

"I've been experimenting with long exposures and low-light photography for years," Maffitt wrote to me in an email after asking about his project. "When I was stuck inside during last weekend's blizzard in the northeast, I decided to try something I've been thinking about for a long time, taking long exposures of a snowfall."

He said he had tried using flashlights before to no avail.

"I decided to point an old video projector out into the snow and see what sort of color effects I could produce," he said.

The result was as amazing as it was beautiful. In short, it was creative genius:

Maffitt said he chose the movie "The Lorax" which was the top children's rental listed on Netflix.

"I assumed a children's movie would give me a nice selection of saturated colors, as opposed to using something like 'Citizen Kane,' " he said. "However, when the snow got blowing really fast, 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. It proved to be an extremely fortunate confluence of nature and digital."

(And yes, he's been getting comments that he should have chosen "Finding Nemo" in deference to the name the Weather Channel gave to the blizzard. "It is the second-most popular observation, behind 'you found the Matrix,' " he wrote on his YouTube page.)

He said it took a while to get his camera in the perfect spot.

"I experimented with several locations before I found one with a suitably dark background; even in the middle of the night, the sky is very bright in a snowstorm," Maffitt said. "But using the pine tree outside my bedroom window allowed me to focus on just the snow. It took about an hour to find the ideal settings, and it definitely got a little chilly, but the results were very compelling, and I'm happy that people have responded to them so well."


You can see more of the still photographs from the video on Maffitt's Flickr Page.

Brian Maffitt is the Chief Creative Officer at Total Training, a web site that teaches people how to use creative software.