Abstract, Photography

Seaglass Waves

I was afraid that I’d posted too many seaglass abstracts but, on looking back through the blog’s media gallery, I can see that I haven’t featured as many as I thought.

I like that the many colours of the ocean, in any of its moods, are reflected in the smooth and tumbled glass fragments we find on the beaches and I can use my blurring and camera movements to imitate the differing combinations of light, colour and motion found in the sea as it meets the shore.

Each picture taking session is unique. At home I have a collection of seaglass, collected over time and sorted into jars of the different shades we commonly find it in. Many different intensities and shades of greens, blues, whites etc.

I put a random mix of it, a few layers deep, in a shallow glass bowl on my office windowsill. Then I normally give it a stir about until I can see a combination I like.

Next I fit a Macro lens on my camera, fit a ND light reducing filter to it and then set a low ISO. Then it’s a question of taking the pictures, commonly at around a 1/4 second shutter speed and moving the camera as the shutter is fired.

The glass itself has varying levels of translucency and the highlights picked out on its pitted surfaces or contours record as the thin white lines, showing off the movements that I have made during the exposure. Of course, there is no chance of there being anything in focus – although I have tried slightly faster speeds to do so but it ends up showing too much reality for my taste.

The pictures below are in gallery format so that clicking one allows you to cycle through them in much larger form.

Redbubble link for prints and things here.

Society6 link here.

16 thoughts on “Seaglass Waves”

  1. I like your comment about “showing too much reality for my taste” — that’s my take on most art that doesn’t really do it for me… These are really wonderful, though. Clearly, sea glass is a gift that keeps on giving!

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  2. I really like that you make these abstracts using a real, physical technique, rather than taking a regular picture and blurring and blending it in Photoshop or similar.

    On the subject of the sea, it seems to be influencing my listening lately, which has heavily featured Sea Island by Loscil plus two albums by Erland Cooper, Seachange and Sule Skerry.

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    1. Yep, it’s kind of important to me that it’s a rearrangement of the light that is actually there, just recorded in a way that the eye can’t normally see in that form. Does that make sense? It still allows me to still truthfully say they’re photographs as well!
      I shall investigate your mentions for music.

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      1. Yes that makes sense. I’ve done a little experimentation myself in the past with light trails created by moving the camera and/or slow shutter speeds, and like you I wanted to create the image purely with the light and the camera, not through any kind of software manipulation afterwards…

        The Loscil record isn’t actually very sea-themed, at least not to me, though I still like it. Erland Cooper writes all kinds of lovely music about the sea, birds, and so on. Very organic and endearing.

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    1. Thanks Mike. By their nature, the majority of my glass pictures aren’t that ‘crisp’ but yes, there are oners which have more presence and some which are more… ethereal?

      Liked by 1 person

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