Edward Weston – Nautilus shell

I bring this work over from my previous course as I intend to continue my research into Henrietta Shore and Edward Weston, particularly as it relates to the iconic image of a nautilus shell shot by Weston in 1927. I was interested in emulating this image and attempting to capture the inner glow that emanates from the shell, almost like a religious artefact.

I ended the last work with a juxtaposition where the highly detailed image is contrasted with a blurred counterpart that had moved during exposure. When Weston made his original shots, he rejected many that had moved as it failed to meet his critical expectations of an almost perfect image of the shell.

Personally I find the blurred shell has an aesthetic of its own, the ultra detailed image is only another interpretation of form. I don’t feel I have finished with what I set out to do; I want to explore other interpretations of Westons iconic shell. The work of Henrietta Shore was influential, and Weston first came across the shell in Shore’s home in Carmel, California. She had previously painted the shell, although in a somewhat abstract form. Shore’s work is inspirational, and her relationship with Weston adds to the interest of the shell series.


Aiken, R. (1992) ‘Henrietta Shore and Edward Weston’ In: American Art Vol. 6 (1) pp.42–61. At: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3109046 (Accessed 16/09/2020).

Myers, G. (2012) Henrietta Shore. At: https://redtreetimes.com/2012/10/30/henrietta-shore/ (Accessed 16/09/2020).

Rheaume, J. (2014) Edward Weston: Nautilus Shell (1927). At: https://josephrheaume.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/edward-weston-nautilus-shell-1927/ (Accessed 16/09/2020).

Rheaume, J. (2014b) Edward Weston Photographer: The Flame Of Recognition (Aperture Monograph). At: https://josephrheaume.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/edward-weston-photographer-the-flame-of-recognition-aperture-monograph/ (Accessed 16/09/2020).

NEWHALL, Nancy. 1975. Edward Weston, The Flame of Recognition. Aperture. Available at: https://www.moma.org/documents/moma_catalogue_2502_300298320.pdf

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