Philip Hutt | Nautilus with Bearings (Monochrome)



Name: Philip Hutt
Picture title: Nautilus with Bearings (Monochrome)
Category: Manmade
Occupation: Director of a small conservation charity

Philip says:
‘I’m fascinated by the form, function and structure of marine mollusc shells and have been experimenting with various ways of portraying this Nautilus shell, which I brought back from the Canary Islands a few years ago.

The inner layer of the shell is composed of a white iridescent, pearlescent material. Internally, the shell divides into chambers, defined by “septa”. As the Nautilus matures, the number of chambers increases, to around 30 in adults, presenting a fine natural example of a logarithmic spiral.

The shell on its own is a great subject, which makes it a popular choice for artists and photographers. I was therefore looking for something to set it apart. I had been experimenting with structures created from ball bearings and realised that combining them with the shell would emphasise the spiral structure.

It took some time to set the picture up and capture the image. Even though I took it from above, with the shell lying horizontally, small ball bearings are very volatile and had a tendency to escape into the inner recesses of the shell, as well onto the surface it was resting on.’

Technical information:
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 100mm Macro 
ISO 100
1/5 sec
Accessories: Tripod
Post processing: I processed the original RAW image using Photoshop Elements 15, rotated it into a portrait configuration and increased the exposure slightly.