Crystals And Gemstones – Exercise 3.12 – Do Some Visual Research

Brief:- Choose a specific and defined context. It could involve a group of people with a particular interest, like beekeeping or amateur dramatics. It could be about a workplace, a church or a hobby. Amass a body of investigatory images about this subject over several days or weeks. Express a thorough visual knowledge of the subject: particular features, people, places, properties or characteristics. Ask questions of the subject and write these down. If it’s a hobby like fishing, what happens? Where does it happen? Who’s involved? What do they look like and what is their behaviour? A politician will behave very differently in a political discussion than if he’s out trekking in the mountains. Answer each of your questions through photographs. This involves ‘showing’ these things. You’ll probably need to ask permission from the people involved. Tell them you’re a photography student and are making a visual research project about them. Instead of one or two or even a series of ‘finished’ images, produce a series of contact sheets that contain many photographs capturing the essence of this defined context of activity.

Although I have completed an investigatory body of images, as per the brief, it has not included people, as per my anxiety around people.

My original career training was as a holistic therapist and I am trained in massage, aromoatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage. I am also a Reiki master and a qualified crystal therapist, having undertaken a two year professional diploma in crystaland vibrational energy healing. Crystals are an important part of my life and I always several of them in my pocket, on the sofa next to me or in my hand. I have no jewellery but I have seen a beautiful pink moonstone necklace, and I would love to buy that when I get the cash-back from my new lenses. The photo’s include two pieces of blue moonstone and they are the first in the tumbled section. Moonstone is an oligoclase feldspar with two mineral structures (orthoclase and albite) that don’t combine properly when they have cooled (volcanic minerals). This means that the light diffracts and only reflects back different colours depending upon where the fractures between the two minerals are, and the depth to which they penetrate in the surrounding ignious rock.

Photographing crystals gave me the opportunity to explore them in their rough, natural, polished, cut and faceted forms, and this presents a narrative in its own right. It’s a shame that I have no access to a mine so that I could have photographed them in all of their environments.

I have included a few of my favourite photos individually, along with the PDF’s of the crystals which I photographed. Only my favourites have been developed a touch in Lightroom (exposure, tone curve, clarity), and they are shown presented below. The PDF’s have been left as shot.

RoughCrystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones


Natural with terminationsCrystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones


TumbledCrystals and Gemstones


Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones


JewelleryCrystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and Gemstones


Crystals and Gemstones PDF



20 Replies to “Crystals And Gemstones – Exercise 3.12 – Do Some Visual Research”

      1. Yes, I’ve been there. I was born and brought up in Sheffield and we often used to go rambling in Derbyshire. A boyfriend at the time was in a skiffle group and once they went and played in one of the caves.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the pictures of the crystals Richard, I used to have a small (very) collection many years ago which has been passed on to a nephew, about the most adventurous thing I did was to diamond saw a geode in half which was hollow and then lap and polish the faces during my lunchtime at work.

    Liked by 2 people

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