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An alien skeleton

An alien skeleton
Photo Information
Copyright: Mehmet Atatur (matatur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1054 W: 245 N: 1626] (5312)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009
Categories: Molluscs
Camera: Sanyo Xacti
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): A study in Conchology (seashells) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-11-15 5:53
Viewed: 8431
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 116
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Depending on your point of view, this could be the spiny skeleton of an alien visitor, or the skeleton of a strange fish... In fact it is neither, but simply a fine shell of one of the World's most beautiful (for me at least) marine gastropods which frequent the shallow tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Namely, a Venus Comb Murex, a.k.a. Murex pecten (=M. triremis) of well known Rock Snails which belong to the family Muricideae.
This is a rather large, predator-scavanger species which usually feeds on other smaller mollusks or carrion, prefers to live in intertidal or shallow subtidal zones with pebbly-sandy or muddy bottoms. It usually sports more than a hundred sharp spines, which provide protection from predation, also prevent the gastropod from sinking in the soft mud. Perfect specimens are rather rare, because of the fragility of those numerous, long spines.
As can be seen from this postero-lateral aspect of the shell, it has a moderate spire with rather deep sutures. The whorls are with large and small, alternate spiral cords and each whorl also display three varices (longitudinal thickenings), with long spines originating from them, which continue anteriorly (towards top-left in this aspect) in three rows on the rather long and straight, almost sealed siphonal canal. Spines on the shoulder of the body whorl and those on spire point posteriorly (that is towards right-foreground). Outer lip of the apertural opening is finely toothed, and backed by the last varix thickening. Columella and inner surface of the aperture are smooth and white, without a nacreous layer. Shell exterior is also coloured creamy white with some light brownish maculations.
To capture the whole of the shell (longitudinal axis: 10.5 cm) in passable focus from this perspective, I had to close my camera aperture to f/22 and used almost direct available natural daylight in open-shade conditions, without any fill-in lighting, against a black BG.

rousettus, Argus, skoksalan, nglen, KOMSIS, irishprophet25, NinaM, siggi, roges, Alex99, boreocypriensis, maurydv, Ishi, eng55, anel, hansh, nasokoun, fiyo, flashpoint, uleko, izler, Dis. Ac., eqshannon, cknara, ramthakur, jconceicao, loot, CeltickRanger, Heaven, ervinjn, peter_stoeckl, vanda, Adanac, Emi_1987, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: on an alien...matatur 1 12-20 13:04
To rousettus: on an alien...matatur 1 11-29 05:30
To Raptorman: on an alien...matatur 1 11-15 12:09
To Argus: on an alien...matatur 1 11-15 06:49
To irishprophet25: on an alien...matatur 1 11-15 06:31
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Mehmet,

Very interesting image. Great colors and amazing details. It would be nice to find out what it is.
Good capture and TFS


Hi Mehmet
I must say that similar studio shots are very difficult. You have presented us another great photo with all the details clearly visible Perfect presentation for a sea shell field guide I like it very much

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-11-15 6:01]

Merhaba Mehmet Bey,
Benim koleksiyonumda da olan bir parca, formunu cok begenirim. Cok estetik duruyor. Ellerinize saglik

Merhaba Ahmet,

A fantastic capture with lovely colors, sharpness & intriguing details. Great POV, BG & composition. Very nicely taken & best compliments.



Merhaba, Mehmet!
Superb! My congrats! I like your shot! Wonderful colours management, excelllent sharpness! TFS!

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  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-11-15 6:27]

Hola amigo,
espectacular captura,
buenos detalles y calidad.
saludos Mahmet

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-11-15 6:35]
  • [+]

Merhaba Mehmet Dostum,
The small aperture and excellent use of flash have resulted in an almost totally sharp capture of this attractive species of Murex, a specimen that looks almost if not entirely intact to me! I cannot image a better POV to display its features.
TFS this beauty,
Have a good week,

Hello Mehmet,
a very fine picture, the shell is well exposed with fine colours
and it's well seen against the black BG, I not fond of complete black BG, but that's a matter of taste.
The shell is veru sharp with good DOF.
Well done.


hello Mehmet
a GREAT sharpness picture with very good light and beautiful colours
greeting lou

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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-11-15 8:10]

Hi Mehmet. beautiful just about sums this one up. also taken with fine detail and sharp focusing. with natural looking colours against the dark Bg.
well taken TFS.

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  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-11-15 8:24]

Mehmet bey selamlar,
Harika bir güzellik ...
Bakış açınızla, zenginleşen, mükemmel formuyla dikkat çeken bir deniz kabuklusu...
Emeklerinize sağlık,

Merhaba Mehmet, you are right is realy like an nalien skeleton, superb macro with splendid light and fantastic colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-11-15 8:53]

Hello Mehmet,
Lovely this Murex on black background!
Very good light, perspective focus!
Nice work!
Best regards Siggi

Bir İzmirli olarak fotoğrafını ve verdiğin bilgileri çok beğendim Mehmet bey , eline , emeğine sağlık .
Selamlar .
Başarılar .

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2009-11-15 8:56]

Bonjour Mehmet! I rarely post a comment on your pictures but I have to say you are the most tenacious of photographers, and also among the most perfectionist. Your collection of seashells is magnificent and beautifully shot. What knowledge also that you bring to TN and having had a comment from you on my post is an hommage to me. Many thanks for your perseverance, great artistic eye and passion for your art and knowledge. This sea shell is a wonder and I didn't know there were so many different sea shells... I live in the country not on the edges, so that leaves me ignorant with oceanic beauties.


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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-11-15 9:01]

Hello Mehmet,
Very beautiful photo of this shell. The colours are great against the black BG. Excellent overall sharpness with good details. Perfect POV. Nice composition.

Thanks for sharing! A truly wondrous specimen, well photographed.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-11-15 9:58]

Hi Mehmet.
Every your shell is more beautiful than another. And your collection is unique and wonderful. Simply terrific shapes of this specimen. Sharpness and details, pleasantness of the colours are stunning. I like arrangement in the frame is amazing. Bravo. Perfect job.

Ciao Mehmet. Another of your spectacular macro shot in excellent details and perfect light's management. Good DOF. Bright colours in contrats with black BG. Well done.


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  • Mello Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 34 N: 480] (2419)
  • [2009-11-15 10:57]

Great pic Mehmet.
Very well done with good DOV and POV.'TFS.

Özel bir parça hoca, nefis olmuş. Elinize sağlık.

Merhaba Mehmet,
a fantastic picture of this beautiful Murex, superb sharpness and fine detail, a very plesing composition with a perfect exposure.
Best regards

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  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2009-11-15 23:27]

Dear Mehmet.

This is one you best images of the beauty of a shell. A great specimen, superb lighting and black background and foreground make this a real gem.

Thank you for sharing this, my friend!


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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-11-15 23:32]

Merhaba Mehmet Bey,
Mükemmel bir kare olmuş.Pozlama,bakış açısı,alan derinliği,kontrast ve detaylar 4/4 lük.
Selamlar,iyi haftalar..

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-11-16 2:00]

Hello dear neighbour,
This is such a fine and perfect shell-picture! The Rock snail shell is of such great beauty in both shape and color. Very interesting also to read about the spines and why they are so useful.
Perfect picture for a publication!
Thanks and kind regards

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  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2009-11-16 7:22]

Hello Mehmet.

Is is almost like a sculpture, very artistic.
Beuatiful colors and sharpness and with a very interesting note.

Gr. Hans

hello Mehmet
figurative disposal and attractive result, the composition and the management of light are exceptional!
keep photographing MF! TFS

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  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-11-16 8:55]

Mehmet bey gönülden tebrikler, çok mükemmel bir sunum.

Hello Mr. Mehmet!

You bring us a surprise, eh? ...What a strange shell, is incredibly complex. You are right in saying that resembles a backbone of some creature from another world!

As always, the light is accurate and appropriate. The angle of the photo deserves special mention, is very good!

Thanks for sharing MF!

Have nice day...


hello Memhet!
exceptional addition of your gallery
details are impressive in this beautiful shell...... really unique!!!

greeting sERGIO

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  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-11-17 2:35]

Merhaba Mehmet,
Yine olağanüstü bir resim. Slendide detayları ve renkler. Bir süper oyuncu kabuk kaplar. Çok ilginç ve açıklama verilmiştir.
Güzel bir gün,

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-11-17 7:00]

Hello Mehmet,
I've never seen a shell like this before - it is really fabulous! Your capture is wonderful showing the details and colours very clearly.
Thanks for the interesting note too. - I wouldnt like to step on this one with my bare feet!!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

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  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-11-17 7:36]

merhaba hocam
kalite standartlarını değiştiren bir sunum daha
fonu, ışığı, netliği ve detayları harika
elinize sağlık

Hello friend Mehmet,

this one I never been seen before and what an beautiful shell.
It looks like a fish.
Great detail and colours are very fine.


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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-11-20 2:40]

Hi Mehmet,
i love looking through your gallery, it like a museum for exotic marine life. The specimens you find never cease to amaze me. As usual, this one is shot in your own unique studio style, and is as effective and eye catching as always. Great notes too, well done.
tfs and have a peaceful weekend.


indeed the most beautiful shell, great capture, great DOF, TFS and greetings Ori

A fascinating specimen and lesson. I wonder if ancient peoples used these as combs.....very nice being back among the pros..

merhaba hocam,
mesaj için epeyce geç kalmış olsam da bu vesile ile bayramınızı kutlama imkanı da bulmuş oldum. iyi bayramlar dilerim hocam.
uzaktan bakınca veya pul şeklinden, daha çok bir yelkenliye benzettim. her haliyle müthiş bir güzellik. çekim deseniz aynı şekilde mükemmel. usta bir elden çıktığı her halinden belli. zevkle izlenen bir kare. elinize sağlık hocam. yeni karelerinizde görüşmek dileğiyle sağlıcakla kalın. selamlar.

very nice compo details and colors
tres plaisant a voir
bravo et merci

I like the way u have taken the picture.Sharpness throught is something very good.I had similar problem.I tried few things,later changed the angle of view.Now i can try with changing aperture.


Now this is a real wonder of nature, Mehmet.
However, it is your tremendous skill at this kind of imaging that has brought forth the most impressive aspect of this intricate yet beautiful shell.
Thanks a lot for sharing this masterpiece of a picture.

Another superb shot, Sir, with another superb enlightening note!
Thanks for the share!

Hello Mehmet,

Fantastic photo.
Light,colours and definition are splendid.
Excellent details.

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  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2009-12-20 9:41]
  • [3] [+]

Merhaba Mehmet

This is a very impressive specimen. The spiny appearance of this Venus Comb Murex
does give it a bit of an alien look, as you mentioned. You once again did a great job to
capture the beauty of this fine example. The delicate placing of the shell in relation to
the composition adds ouzels of visual impact. I just love it. The wide range of the DOF
ensured a crisp image with lovely fine details. The f/22 aperture did well to cover the
entire range of the shell. The exposure management was great. The indirect sun light
created some soft shades to highlight the textures and design of the shell.

Very good work and TFS.

Merhaba Mehmet,
wow, this is amazing and I love this one very much. Excellent sharpness, we can see every detail, very well done, thanks.
Sabine - wishnugaruda

hello Mehmet

from all your Molluscs photos this one it is the one that the eyes is catching more
de toutes tes photos de mollusques c'est cette photo qui frappe le plus à l'oeil,
and i also thought that it was a skeleton of a strange fish,
superbly focused with great sharpness and details,
great luminosity of the subject with the background all dark,



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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-12-31 18:59]

Hi Mehmet,
this shell looks like its floating in the cosmos.
Very beautiful indeed in its superbs neatness and sharpness. I like the sharp thorns in the best condition and very lovely wirthout any spoilt parts.
A beautiful and careful work well presented and done.


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  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2010-01-24 12:01]

Merhaba Mehmet!

Your portfolio of shells is just amazing, but I think this is one of most beautifull. You're right - it looks like skeleton of alien specie. DOF, POV, colours and details - all are perfect. Also black BG and light are superb. Pure buty here and in rest of pictures from your gallery. Impresive work!

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  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-02-04 12:26]

Dear Mehmet

Your "Alien Skeleton" is superb and surprising at the same time. Maybe because on one hand it looks so delicate and fragile and on the other hand quite strong. The whole really has an alien aspect and could be the model for H.R.Giger's monster. I'm impressed by your technique and I wonder how you create this black background. The effect is terrific!

Kind regards


Dear Mehmet,
splendid documentation of a Murex snails highly elaborate elegant structures and very delicate subtle colours. A masterpiece of distinctly artistic documentary photography. My congratulations!
With thanks, and best regards,

Truley a fantastic image of a beautiful ornate shell! I have never in my life so many protuberants pop out from a shell like that. Your DOF does the image justice as both front and back of subject is perfectly focused.

Hello Mehmet,

Excellent tone and beautiful shell with interesting shape!
It's so amaging innumerable branch that has grown from main body.
It looks that this shell have beautiful body and elegant color.
So, this shellfish is a lady who wears a fashionable dress. It sees and the impression is deep without getting tired.


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  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-12-01 8:33]

Hi Mehmet!
What a beauty!! Great macro of this splendid Murex, with perfect sharpness.
The light is absolutely fabulous and I like the great contrast against the dark BG.
Congratulations on this great work.
Ciao! Vanda
Thanks for your visit and comment

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-12-02 19:13]

Hello Mehmet,
What an incredible shell, very intriguing and superbly captured. Thank you Mehmet.

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  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 8 N: 538] (3384)
  • [2011-01-02 6:33]

Very curious and interesting shape of this skeleton.
The exposure was well balanced. Well done.

All your shell pictures are excellent, but like others I find this one particularly fascinating. You achieved great depth of field and the whole shell appears sharp.

Hello Mehmet
Woow, what a beautiful shell never saw this types quite unique in every pint of view, great details and colors, interesting educative description. Thanks for sharing!
Regards Hedesan

Merhaba Mehmet bey,
Hopefully you return to TN with some new photos soon. This pic is excellent, with the bombastic contrast you always have on your images - and the subject really looks like an alien skeleton! Congrats for the capture and tfs.
Best regards, László

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