2021—Graphite Macro

For many years, I collected shells from the beaches around Port Aransas, Texas when I visited my friends Chris and Susan there for a couple of weeks each January. The shells have languished in boxes with no purpose. Acquiring my new Nikkor Z MC 105mm lens reintroduced me to that haphazard collection of sandy, broken shells. I remember one day when Chris dropped Susan and me off on an island to gather shells while he went off to fish. The island (I don’t recall its name) had so many shells that the sand was not visible and oddly, it looked like many of the shells had been there for quite a few years as they were bleached white from the Texas sun. This is a trio of shells collected that day, all bleached white. A color photograph didn’t seem that it would do these intricate shells justice so I set my Nikon Z6II to my favorite monochrome setting, Graphite (Picture Control No. 18). This setting brought out all of the intricate details of the shells even though there was no color in them. The two shells on the right are Lightning Whelks, the Texas state shell.

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