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About

Shells we choose for souvenirs or beach themed DIY are usually beautiful and whole, but take a closer look at the often discarded “ugly shells” ; you will find stories, beauty,  and maybe you’ll even learn a little!
 
The Ugly Shell explores the beauty of sea life, science, and storytelling through micro-imaging photographs. A Florida native, Michelle Creel Crane uses her background in microscopy, coastal ecology, as well as experiences of coastal living around the world to share the stories of those ugly shells by revealing the beauty in their imperfections.
 
Just as people get scars and spots and bumps as we age, the things that wash ashore have life’s little barnacles too, and those are the bits that tell you about how they lived, where they came from, and maybe even how they met their demise!
 
The Ugly Shell’s fascinating approach to photography uses microscopes and lighting to give the subjects new life and the viewers a new perspective. Shop our beautiful and creative coastal art, learn fun facts about ugly shells, and support a small local business right here at The Ugly Shell!