In Photography

My husband has an extensive shell collection, as you might have noticed from previous posts.  Many of them have amazingly intricate shapes, swirls, textures, and colors.  One shell that was easily overlooked is the abalone.  It looks like a dirty brown beret on the outside – gritty, dull, rough, and completely boring.  From the outside, only a few small holes hint at anything more interesting on the other side.

abalone exterior

abalone outside

Look a little closer and you will see tiny points of shimmering color in this rough exterior that hint at something amazing:

abalone shell

a thousand tiny flecks of intensely colorful pearlized nacre decorate the rough looking surface.

Turn the shell over and be amazed – the entire inside is covered in multicolored pearl material.


The predominant color seems to be teal, but when you look closer it it much more complex than that.

abalone interior

abalone interior

abalone interior

abalone interior

This is one instance of a shell being easier to appreciate via photography: looking at it with the naked eye, it can be hard to appreciate the complexity of color and texture because the light shimmers off the surface in such a dramatic way.  A photograph freezes those reflections in one place so the viewer can just stare in wonder and see the structure in a static way.

It is a crazy neat shell.

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