Bruce Smith • Landscape In A Rock

Geologic photography is a fascinating but niche practice. Shining, polishing and cutting rocks, then backlighting them, is a unique art. Bruce Smith tells us about how to get the best results

I have been interested in photography since my schooldays, and many of my photography passions are related to landscapes – winter, the Aurora Borealis and the Rocky Mountains here in Canada. I have also been interested in nature and rocks since I was small. I have also been a member of the local camera club for about a decade and a member of the local lapidary club for almost as long. To my amazement, a number of years ago I discovered that my two passions overlap quite nicely!

I started exploring the details of photographing rocks – crystals, surfaces, backlit using a light table, front and side-lit with various forms of lighting. I realized that there is amazing abstract beauty in the rocks such as colours, patterns and details, but there also can be incredible images resembling everything from animals and outer space to underwater scenes and remarkable landscapes. Although rocks such as agates and jaspers are hard and can be polished to a beautiful shine, at the microscopic level they are ...

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