All minerals were photographed under normal white light to show their own distinctive colors.

Minerals have always fascinated me, and they offer enormous potential for macro photography. Their surface details are affected by reflection and refraction to create striking pictures, and backlighting often produces surprising coloration and depth. Moreover, they look quite different through a macro lens than with the unaided eye, as shapes and turns of light are magnified. One day while photographing a tiny patch of a mineral for its simple beauty, it put me in the mind of viewing a large abstract paining. I then began to seek out such images. Most of the ones displayed here are of areas only 5-15 millimeters across, yet I find they have an expansive feel. But it is their abstract qualities that I appreciate the most and that raise interesting questions about aesthetic theory: If abstract art takes its special character from its play over against "the natural," what does it mean to discover visions of the abstract in nature? Is this merely a coincidental association, a human creation by seeing selectivity, or a hint at some commonality of designs between mind and earth? What might this say about our understanding of the nature of abstract art?

This exhibit is part of the larger collection at




  © 2020 John W. Ehman   --