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Seashells On Black Foam Core

One of my favorite "tabletop" photography projects involves the use of black foam core board. Seashells look especially nice against the black background. It celebrates the interplay of light & shadow and makes for a very enjoyable rainy day activity!

Tony
















illuminated

 

Andy brown

Active member
Tony, I'm workshopping (in my head) the potential for a solar system of shells and other sea structures and forms.

Your jellyfish shot opens the door beautifully.

Coincidentally, I have a really excellent collection of urchin cores, and some good shells and even a mummified weedy seadragon to boot.
I didn't comment at the time but your "inner space meets outer space" is quite delightful.

As a matter of fact, I challenge you (lightheartedly of course) to come up with the solar system (shells and sh!t) in some kind of realistic dimension before me (give a month or two).

There ya go, gauntlet bloody laid down.
 
Tony, I'm workshopping (in my head) the potential for a solar system of shells and other sea structures and forms.

Your jellyfish shot opens the door beautifully.

Coincidentally, I have a really excellent collection of urchin cores, and some good shells and even a mummified weedy seadragon to boot.
I didn't comment at the time but your "inner space meets outer space" is quite delightful.

As a matter of fact, I challenge you (lightheartedly of course) to come up with the solar system (shells and sh!t) in some kind of realistic dimension before me (give a month or two).

There ya go, gauntlet bloody laid down.
Hi Andy,

Thanks for commenting on my jellyfish photo and here, as well. The solar system project sounds interesting and intriguing. It's funny you should mention "solar system." On my website I say this in my introduction to my seashell gallery, "My intention with many of these photographs is to present them as if viewing an astronomy photograph. The brilliant object emerges from the blackness of space. The lighting seems to provide a nearly 3 dimensional effect." I really like your idea about a solar system presentation for the shells. Urchins especially photograph well. I have what's called a "Sea Biscuit" in my collection that I've photographed and will post two versions of in my next set. They remind me of photos of meteroids. I converted them to black & white to enhance this effect.

One thing to keep in mind when photographing shells is they typically look best when the light source is coming from an oblique angle. This is much like the enhanced crater detail visible on the moon during first & third quarter phases.

I own one of the original model Celestron C11 telescopes, which sports a massive 11" optical tube assembly. It can resolve extremely distant deep space objects with ease and has a worm-gear motor that helps compensate for the earth's rotation. It's quite the sophisticated toy!

Tony
 

Paul Abbott

New member
Tony, you have some wonderful images of these shells here. I like the single shell studies, and you have lit them so very well too.
Do you have any of these displayed at all?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tony,

Such pristine and beautifully made images!

I agree with Paul here. The singly isolated shell images are stunning. Each has a unique coloring and pattern and commands attention and evokes interest and prolonged fascination.




illuminated​


To me, I see not only wonders of nature, but also models for my own artistic adventures and ideas to explore.

After Edward Weston's B&W images of shells, it's so hard for anyone to enter the arena and claim a spotlight. Your work, however, Doesn't rely so much on lighting, positioning and form but primarily on the form's interplay with color patterns. In this you are successful, but the road ahead is open for you.

I do hope that you have all these shells in your possession as there is a lot more to be done as you study each from new perspectives.

Asher
 
Tony, you have some wonderful images of these shells here. I like the single shell studies, and you have lit them so very well too.
Do you have any of these displayed at all?
Thanks very much, Paul. While I do have some of my bird and flower photos displayed, my seashell photos have yet to be displayed.

Tony
 
Tony,

Such pristine and beautifully made images!

I agree with Paul here. The singly isolated shell images are stunning. Each has a unique coloring and pattern and commands attention and evokes interest and prolonged fascination.




illuminated​


To me, I see not only wonders of nature, but also models for my own artistic adventures and ideas to explore.

After Edward Weston's B&W images of shells, it's so hard for anyone to enter the arena and claim a spotlight. Your work, however, Doesn't rely so much on lighting, positioning and form but primarily on the form's interplay with color patterns. In this you are successful, but the road ahead is open for you.

I do hope that you have all these shells in your possession as there is a lot more to be done as you study each from new perspectives.

Asher
Thank you very much for your generous and thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate them, Asher.

Tony
 
Explain #s 1, 3 and 4 as they are particularly unusual!

Thanks, Tony!
Hi Asher,

1: This polished African Turbo shell was placed on a mirror, then the mirror on the black foam core board.

Here's one of my favorite results with the use of a mirror.


3: This English Channel Sea Urchin has an opening on one side. It's relatively thin-walled. I placed it over a sheet of black foam core board, which has a hole punched through it. I then place the foam core over a light box and this is the result. It illuminates quite nicely!

4: I like the angle used for this shot of a Venus Comb Murex. Looks like it's floating in space!

Best regards,

Tony
 
Great beach combing! I'm parcial to the urchins. Agree a book in the making.
Hi Peter,

Thanks for looking. Yes, urchins are incredibly interesting and beautiful. These shells were not discovered beach combing. I live in a coastal community that has numerous seashell shops, many of which offer highly polished and natural shells, starfish, and urchins.

Best regards,

Tony
 
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