Super close-up photos show the micro marvels that make up regular beach sand

A fascinating set of super close-up photos show the micro marvels that make up a seemingly ordinary sandy beach.

Seen in extreme detail, the tiny grains of sand reveal a wealth of colours, patterns and textures which are impossible to see with the naked eye.

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Photographer Ashley Burnett from Bristol sifted through countless grains to select the most interesting pieces before capturing them with a specially designed 65mm macro lens and Canon 5dmk3 camera.

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Ashley said: “I love the idea that every time you run your fingers through the sand on a beach you are touching thousands of beautifully intricate objects created by time and nature.

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“It is quite a technical challenge to photograph such small things, I needed plenty of light to compensate for the shallow depth of field at the macro level – but it was well worth the effort.”

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As well as particles of quartz and silica the photos show fragments of shell and granite.

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Researchers have previously estimated the number of grains of sand on earth at seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains but construction is rapidly using up world supplies.

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Ashley collected the sand during a family holiday visit to an artificial beach at Lake Guerlédan in Brittany, France.

 

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