Shell Game

Shell Monster Jaw, photo by Harold Davis. Click to view larger size.

These photos are of shells very close up, using my Lens Baby with macro lens (which intentionally creates a very shallow “sweet spot” that is in focus). The photos are part of an experiment I’ve made of raising the ISO to 1,000. Theoretically, this should increase the noise in the photos. The benefit is that dialing a higher ISO into my camera allows me to use faster shutter speeds. The process of finding the sweet spot is really finicky, and I think being able to use higher shutter speeds is great–well worth the added noise, with manifests itself as a kind of grain-like effect.

Close up, these shells reveal fantastic imagined things. The Lens Baby takes care of the background–everything is out of focus, so one can concentrate on what the foreground reveals.

Above I have a pre-historic monster jaw (actually, a starfish about one inch long). Here’s a shell version of Artemis Ephesia, a goddess found at Ephesus with about one hundred breasts:

Shell Artemis Ephesia

Here’s a mountain, perhaps in some realm where sacrifices litter the route to the summit:

Shell Mountain

Last, a starfish itself has a starfish on its back:

Starfish Star

Meta information: Nikon D70 Raw capture, manual exposure, Lens Baby 2.0 with +14 macro filters and f/8.0 aperture ring. Lighting was a combination of ambient daylight and a colored Tungsten spot. ISO was set to 1000. The shutter speed in each of these photos was between 1/500 of a second and 1/1250 of a second. I accepted the default settings for Raw conversion, and did essentially no Photoshop processing.

This entry was posted in Bemusements, Lensbaby, Photography.

One Comment

  1. RavenGrrl December 2, 2005 at 3:21 pm #

    Wow! Harold – these shell photos are super detailed. I like some of your lens baby shots — not all of them. But these I do like. Especially the starfish underside and the “mountain”. Beautiful, subtle colors in these.

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