Black and white image of shell fragments and pebbles scattered on a dark background

Stones 1

Shell fragments and pumice chunks scattered on a dark background

Stones 2

Closeup of 2 shell fragments, one with a pearl in it, and 2 bits of pumice on a dark background

Stones 3

I finished my Large Format class with a three-image mini-project. We could do anything we wanted with the assignment — any subject, any treatment, any output. I had just seen some older work by Carl Chiarenza, who creates tabletop abstracts for black and white photographs, and that was my inspiration for this work. The project satisfies many of my own predilections – close up/macro, tabletop, abstract, natural items.

I was surprised to hear from my professor that many students don’t treat this assignment as a way to “do their own thing.” How sad for them that they think of it as yet another hurdle, and how sad for my professor to have to see work that doesn’t show true enjoyment of photography.