About the artist

That’s me — I’m the one behind the camera.

I’ve always been fascinated by detail. As a child, one of my favorite “toys” was a small microscope, which enabled me to see so many things not visible to the naked eye. At some point I discovered that the viewfinder of a camera can reveal similar details in the world around us. Whether I’m shooting the pattern of veins in a dragonfly’s wing or the rippling sand along a beach, I find that I’m drawn to the study of textures and the play of light and shadow across a surface.

Making the switch from film to digital photography has allowed me to work with detail in a whole new way. The technology itself becomes a lens to see the structures hidden in an image.

I’m a West Coast native, but in recent years I’ve also spent a significant amount of time on Cape Cod. After living most of my life among massive, rugged mountain ranges and soaring pines and redwoods, it was initially hard to see the subtle beauty of sand dunes and scrub oaks. That contrast has informed my vision and expanded the range of my art.

Shelly F. Cohen

About the images

Most of these images were taken with a Nikon D70 digital SLR. I started out with an 18-70mm zoom lens, then switched to an 18-200mm, which is a great all-around lens if you want to carry only one.

I love shooting with an SLR, especially once I went digital. But slowly, insidiously, a Droid phone has worked its way into my repertoire. Despite its many limitations, it has the one big advantage of being almost always at hand.