A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder

A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder


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A Grain of Sand uses incredible micro-photographic techniques to present you with high-resolution glimpses of the strange and wonderful world that each grain of sand contains.

"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower. To hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence" 1805

Here is the world viewed within a grain of sand, thanks to the stunning three-dimensional micro-photography of Dr. Gary Greenberg. To some, all sand looks alike—countless grains in a vast expanse of beach. Look closer—much closer—and your view of sand will never be the same.

Employing the fantastic micro-photographic techniques that he personally developed, Greenberg invites you to discover the strange and wonderful world that each grain of sand contains. See, truly see, the sands of Hawaii and Tahiti, the Sahara and the Poles, a volcano, each exquisitely different, and each telling a fascinating geological story.

Red sand and yellow, white sand and black, singing sand and quicksand: Greenberg's pictures reveal the subtle differences in their colors, textures, sizes, and shapes. And as this infinitesimal world unfolds so does an intriguing explanation of how each grain of sand begins and forms and finds itself in a particular place, one of a billion and one of a kind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780760361436
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Publication date: 11/21/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 422,516
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Dr. Gary Greenberg earned his doctorate in developmental biology from University College London and later joined the faculty at the University of Southern California. Co-founder of Edge Scientific Instrument Corporation, he developed high-definition 3D light microscopes, for which he has been issued nineteen US. patents. He is currently Research Affiliate at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

Dr. Gary Greenberg is a visual artist who creatively combines art with science. The cofounder of Edge Scientific Instrument Corporation, he has a Ph.D. in biomedical research from University College London and holds 17 patents for high-definition three-dimensional light microscopes. He has worked as a photographer, a filmmaker, a biomedical researcher, an academic, an inventor, and an entrepreneur. Since 2001, Dr. Greenberg has been using his special microscopes to create dramatic landscapes of ubiquitous objects like grains of sand, flowers, and food. These everyday objects take on a new reality when magnified hundreds of times. Dr. Greenberg lives in Paia, Hawaii.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Stacy Keach
Chapter 1 A Signature Written in Sand
Chapter 2 Erasing the Line Between Science and Art
Chapter 3 The Nature of Sand
Chapter 4 Colors in Sand
Chapter 5 Shapes of Sand Grains
Chapter 6 Patterns in Sand Grains
About the Author/Photographer

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Shutterbug, October 2008

Sand, it’s everywhere and may seem ordinary but Dr. Gary Greenberg expertly combined art and science to reveal the true beauty of each microscopic grain. 

Sand consists of a vast collection of bits of crystals, coral, shells, sea urchin spines, silica, and calcium carbonate each with a unique shape and color. 

Dr. Greenberg provided 235 vividly colored images and in depth information to provide a fascinating look at how nature is constantly reshaping the earth and

hiding tiny treasures at our feet.


By Stacy Keach

When I was a young boy, my parents held my hands as I walked on a sandy beach and encountered the waves beneath my feet for the first time. At first, it terrified me. The tide rushed back to join the sea under my toes, and I had the sensation of being swept under. Were it not for the fact that I held onto my parents' hands for dear life, I felt sure I was a goner. The fear subsided as I became aware that the waves were part of a natural process. My relief turned to joy, and I began to jump in the foam. Plunging my hands into the sand beneath my feet, I became mesmerized by the tiny dancing grains slipping through my fingers. So small, I thought to myself, and so many of them.

Some years later, I looked through a telescope at the stars for the first time. I remembered the claim that there are as many stars in the universe as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. In that instant, I made the connection between these amazing tiny particles and the whole of the universe. Now, looking at Dr. Gary Greenberg's miraculous grains of sand photographed through a microscope, I am once again mesmerized by a whole new dimension. A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Beauty takes us to a captivating world that none of us have seen before.

Following in the tradition of the Renaissance, my good friend Gary-an artist, scientist, and inventor-is one of a growing number of specialists whose body of work reflects the synthesis of art and science. A prolific inventor with a number of patents for high-definition 3, he has utilized his scientific skills with the microscope and the camera to create artistic landscapes of extraordinary beauty andfascinating detail. A Grain of Sand is a perfect example of that expression.

I first became acquainted with Gary's talents in the early 1970s when I joined the advisory board of Environmental Communications, a group of photographers and artists located in Venice, California, and devoted to documenting both the art and architecture of our cultural environment. It was a privilege for me to share in the expression of a movement where the worlds of art, science, and culture merged.

During this period, Gary also initiated a science club, where friends met once a week to discuss articles from Scientific American, Science, and Nature and ponder the implications of everything from black holes and string theory to the big bang and global warming. This period of my life would prove to be an invaluable inspiration for my work. I was just beginning to embark on an ancillary career as a narrator for scientific documentaries, especially the NOVA series for the Public Broadcasting Service. The knowledge I gained from the science club discussions not only deepened my understanding of complicated scientific principles, but it also enhanced my confidence to do my job as an informed authority. The discussions provided me with the opportunity to see and understand things about nature that had not been previously available to me.

Likewise, A Grain of Sand provides the reader with a delightful visual trip into a world beyond the reaches of everyday perceptions. It is an exploration into the wondrous landscape of things we do not see with our naked eye. It inspires the human spirit to know that the beauty and the mysteries of our universe are tangible and real, and that our lives are enriched by their presence. I am confident that you will enjoy the journey ahead.

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Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My father left me my mother died a horibble death and im a loner now thats just great * she turned around and walked away her tail draging on the ground*