We have seen an image from Jenny Downing along this theme before within this blog, but this latest molluscan offering stand shell and tentacle above the other.


The most magical element of this shot has to be the palette. The soft pastel-earthy tones make the whole thing feel like a dream, in particular the almost luminous shell that so closely matches the rest of the surroundings. That dreaminess is then offset on closer examination, as we discover the wonderfully sharp detail of the snail’s texture, both in the backlit head and tentacle, and in the lower rim of the shell: the latter having a feel of some alien calligraphy.

There is also some excellent placement here: the subject’s head on the intersection of the horizontal primary golden ratio and the vertical mid-point, looking into the soft negative space of the wider expanse of the frame. The “neck” also aligns with the hidden tip of the supporting leaf, which sits nicely on the secondary golden ratio.

But all this other composition is as naught before the perfect S-curve of brightly lit shell extending into the recurved body.

Pure mastery.

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