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When I took this shot I didn't expect that I would post it, on the expectation that a picture of a shell, despite the composition, probably wouldn't be all that interesting. But having looked at it I like the detail the close-focus has revealed. Besides which, I don't have anything else to put up ;-)

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
Canon G5
3.07pm on 23/8/04
aperture priority
4x3 + fylde coast [scenic] + beachcombing + macro
comment by caitriona at 08:39 AM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

i'm loving the colours and detail of the sand and the shell. this is definitely one for me. nothing else to put up or not, i'm glad this one made it up.

comment by m at 09:08 AM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

Picture postcard stuff.

comment by Jason Davies at 09:40 AM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

Hey that's beautiful. I love the colours and the way you can see each grain of sand.

comment by Irene at 09:53 AM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

great picture!

comment by Harry at 02:40 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

The depth of field and the grains of sand are what lift this picture above the ordinary. It is striking that the in-focus/out-of-focus sand coincides with that growth line in the shell, drawing a "horizon" across the picture. That being said, it might have been even more effective if you had cropped a few pixels off the bottom (or adjusted the position of the camera) so that sharp grains of sand started at the border of the picture and extended to that horizon.

comment by elwin at 03:00 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

Thats a beautiful shot. Love the focusing.

comment by Jeremy at 03:50 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

Perfect DoF, but as you said earlier, not that interesting

comment by ale at 04:58 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2004

wonderful picture, i have quite the same shell on the top of my computer here at job.. my little view on something alive..
but mine comes from Lignano Sabbiadoro seashore, in Italy.. I didn't think the same kind of shell could be found in so far places..

comment by nordilux at 05:36 AM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

first reaction was 'just perfect'. but when i view it for a couple of seconds a sense emerges that the background has been blurred out manually in PS.

comment by adam at 05:45 AM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

It's a great shot of a shell in the sand I suppose. But it's just that.. and doesn't give us much more to look at.

comment by tiffany at 07:42 AM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

I think the problem here isn't this image - this image is very good. The problem is that your pictures of your kids are a tough act to follow. :-)

I do agree with whoever said above that the background is a bit troublesome... it's not terrible, it just doesn't add much to the image as it perhaps could have.

That said, I like this photo a lot. I think what makes it for me is the colors of the individual grains of sand. The deep red and tan colors make it look like tiny beads of glass. That holds my attention and forces me to give the seashell a longer look than I normally would.

Incidentally, I can't wait til I'm as in control of my camera as you are yours.

comment by caitriona at 03:23 PM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

you've gotten some constructive criticism here - which is always good - but this is still one of my faves - a personal thing i guess. maybe this shot is less popular because, as tiffany said, it's different to the type of photo you normally post. people come to chromasia expecting a certain type of photo - all the more reason to post something different if that's what you feel like!

i'm a sucker for a macro photo, but there are a couple of things that i specifically like about this one:

-it's simplicity
-that the shell is slightly buried in the sand and not sitting on top of it
-that the dark blue colour of the shell contrasts with the overall golden colour of the sand [at the back] and yet the shell contains the same colours as the sand [noticeable in the focused grains at the front] - probably due to the fact that the sand is made of ground up versions of this shell
-the dof is great and i love the fact that the shell sitting in an island of focus surrounded by blur - i would disagree with harry that sharp grains of sand should start at the border of the picture

more macro shots on chromasia says me!

comment by Liisa at 04:23 PM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

irresistable, love the grainy look of the sand, the texture and colors, it's just perfect

comment by djn1 at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

Thanks everyone.

Harry: I'm with caitriona on this one; i.e. I like the blur in the foreground as it isolates the shell.

Jeremey: I said that I expected that it wouldn't be all that interesting, not that it wasn't interesting ;-)

ale: I think these are reasonably common shells is Britain.

nordilux: no, this is as shot.

comment by kalinka at 11:26 PM (GMT) on 28 August, 2004

I fully believe you, David, but it is very weird
that the plane of focus shifts so abruptly into
blurriness -- it is mildly disturbing, but also
makes it a more interesting image. I also like
the blurred grains of sand in the foreground.

comment by djn1 at 09:30 AM (GMT) on 29 August, 2004

kalinka: I think the shell was on a slight rise in the sand. So the background that you see was slightly further away than the image implies, i.e. theire is more focus loss than you would expect.