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New book: Our National Monuments - America's Hidden Gems

Sand Grains

Pictures by QT Luong

[NP Sand Grains]
[California Sand Grains]
[Florida Sand Grains]
[Hawaii Sand Grains]
[Misc Sand Grains]

One of the wonders of nature is that, if you look close enough at just about anything, you will find unexpected beauty and chaotic order. Can one really "See a World in a grain of sand" as poetically written by Blake ? With high-magnification photography, we can certainly get a good glimpse of the both surrounding environment - rocks, volcanoes, coral reefs - and the erosion processes which have, over geological times, ground massive mountains as well as formaly living organisms to miniature gemstones less than a millimeter in diameter. That story is told not only by the material composition of the grains of sand, but also their size and smoothness.

Because the size of the sand grains is an integral part of this story, I have kept the magnification constant within this series. The width of each frame is 7mm, corresponding to exactly 100 times magnification in a 20x30 inch print. For reference, here is a close-up of a US Dime (10 cents coin) at the same magnification.