Usually, I like the keep the aspect ratio of my images in the same format that the camera produce. In my Nikon D300, that would mean a 3:2 ratio. That translates into a 4×6, 8×12, or 12×18. But in this case I felt the image required something different.
I first saw the sea urchin climbing the glass at the Monterey Bay Aquarium because the bright red mouth parts contrasted against the pale blue/aqua background. After some time I realized that the image was not going to work in my usual landscape or portrait orientation.
Because of the radial symmetry where all the spines radiate from a central point, I felt that the image required a square crop to emphasis the symmetry of the urchin. By focusing on the mouth parts of the urchin (the center) the out of focus spines lead the viewers’ eye into the center of the frame, holding their attention and keeping them in the frame. And when I composed the shot, I kept that in mind.
The image was taken with Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens. The exposure was for 1/30 of a second at f2 and the ISO was at 1000.
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