"Stone Spirits"


Stone Spirits

Stone spirits formed of the dawning of creation.

Speaking of life-force and the secrets of heat and passion.

Never calling in word but touching our sole in beauty and promise.

Look past the science of matter to the essence of being.

A moment of wisdom, a moment of truth.  

                                                                       by the artist



"Stone Spirits" explores the beauty of creation and the exquisite design, form, color and line found within the structure of stones, fossils and sea shells. The frozen structures of "Stone Spirits" call us to confront the dynamic and chaotic forces of creation and life itself. In these images one finds evidence of not only profound beauty but the apocalyptic forces of heat, light, pressure, change and ultimately transformation. These are inherent truths that not only define the process of creation but describe the human experience itself. Out of chaos and darkness comes light, beauty, transformation and rebirth.



A momentary vision

Perceptions of the eternal

Born of the fires of creation

Chaos and Destruction

Darkness into light


                                                                  by the artist


I have been photographing the design elements of seashells for about ten years and have recently begun to include stones and fossils in the conceptual framework of this project. I am very interested in the common design elements of creation extending from the structure of galaxies to the structure of shells and stones. The spirals of galaxies and seashells are defined by the same very precise mathematical formula. I am also curious to see if I can find similar design elements in aerial photography that might serve as a relevant component of this work.


The Fire

The fire calls to you

Your are afraid of its touch

You want it inside

You resist

It beckons

                                            by the artist



The Artist

Whose hand creates the line?

Whose eye holds the Vision?

Whose heart feels the passion?

Whose finger chooses the color?

Who says it is done?


                                                                  by the artist


The images in this study are macro and micro photographs of very small sections of stones, fossils and sea shells, Some of the specimens are as small as  0.1 mm. The technology of the macro application uses a Nikon F5 or a Nikon D100 digital camera mounted on a Nikon PB-4 bellows, using a range of Nikon macro lenses from 55mm to 105mm. The micro process uses the same camera mounted on a Nikon microscope using the 2X and 10X objectives. The PB-4 bellows uses a Nikon PK-13A adapter ring and a Nikon PK3 extension ring.

The shells are Abalone and most of the stones are pietersite, petrified wood, agate, ammonite  or various other fossils. The macro photographs are presented 5 to 20 times larger than the subject and the micro images are presented 50 to 200 times larger than the subject.

The digital images are recorded in RAW format and are processed in Photoshop CS2. The images are presented quite natural. The Schott A20520 fiber optic light source provides outstanding light quality at 3800 degrees. I do eliminate distracting small artifacts from the digital files in Photoshop. Some work has been done with Fuji Velvia film. The following photos illustrate the set up as well as some of the stones and shells that are serve as subjects. 


micro set up


macro set up


Another aspect of the study deals with the very nature of beauty and the inherent beauty that exists within creation even in the absence of perception. What impact does perception and awareness have when such elements are perceived for the first time? Is beauty an inherent aspect of a grand design or is it solely integral to the process of human perception?

My other project; "Of Flesh and Stone" explores the connection between flesh and stone in both myth and symbol. Certainly there is connectedness in the concept of dust to dust and in the Medusa whose overwhelming beauty turned observers to stone.


Of Flesh and Stone


How are flesh and stone similar and how are they different. Since the beginning of civilization, man has sought immortality in his stone statues. It is compelling to note that many images of the stones that emerge through the microscope appear disturbingly human and fleshy. 

Lake Superior Agate


As elements of this exquisite beauty reveal themselves, you are continuously confronted with the questions of intentionality. What purpose does such beauty serve when it is buried so deep in elements of creation that only very small aspects are ever subject to perception. In the miniature world of "Stone Spirits"   the universe calls. It is this question of a reality that transcends molecular structures and the effect of heat and pressure that suggests the name "Stone Spirits".

"The contemplation of beauty 

causes the soul to grow wings."


Thoughts and dialogue on these issues would be very much appreciated.


30mm agate





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Copyright 2005 Northstar Gallery