21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Artistic
Backlit shells along the beach at Bald Head Island

During winter there aren't as many active critters for me to photograph. I was walking along the beach hoping to find any form of life but the sky was empty and the ocean looked calm. Soon the sun started to set and its rays became more yellowish/orange as it approached the horizon. I had been collecting shells as I was walking along the beach and I decided to hold one up against the sun. The light shone through the shell making the shell appear to glow and it illuminated details I hadn’t seen before. I loved the effect so I placed the shell in the sand near the waters edge and began photographing it. I took my other shells and placed them in a similar upright way but I tried to create different effects by playing with angles and the background. It resulted in this beautiful glowing bokeh effect.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Bald Head Island, North Carolina, United States of America
Copyright: © Tasneem Ahsanullah