Bill Atkinson - While shooting in the Painted Desert, Atkinson became intrigued with the brilliant colors in the petrified wood littering the ground. He brought home some polished rock slabs, photographed them in natural color and without magnification, and was enthralled. The photographs looked more like paintings of forgotten dreams than either rocks or photographs
Bill Atkinson, Within the Stone, Browntrout Pub, 2004.
With this book of color photographs of the polished hearts of stones portrayed as natural paintings, BILL ATKINSON completes his transition from whiz kid of Silicon Valley to high priest of Silica.
After helping to usher in the age of personal computing by designing the graphical user interface of the Macintosh computer, Atkinson turned his visual and technical talents to nature photography. While shooting in the Painted Desert, Atkinson became intrigued with the brilliant colors in the petrified wood littering the ground. He brought home some polished rock slabs, photographed them in natural color and without magnification, and was enthralled. The photographs looked more like paintings of forgotten dreams than either rocks or photographs. Atkinson went on to borrow and photograph thousands of art-quality stones at gem shows. From these thousands of stones, Atkinson has picked for WITHIN THE STONE those seventy-two that yielded the most striking, the most poetic, and the most ineffable images. Many of the photographs suggest the styles of particular masters of modern painting: Klee, Klimt, Turner, OKeefe. To accompany these images, the publisher commissioned seventy literary pieces for WITHIN THE STONE from seven top writers, each one accomplished in both scientific and artistic fields. Each writer was asked to free-associate with his or her ten assigned photographs as though they were Rorschach patterns on steroids. The seven contributors are DIANE ACKERMAN (poet and psychologist), PHILIP BALL (Nature editor and dramatist), JOHN HORGAN (science writer and philosopher), ANDREW REVKIN (New York Times reporter and screenplay writer), DORION SAGAN (science writer and novelist), TYLER VOLK (biologist and architect), and DAVID ZINDELL (science fiction novelist and mathematician). In an appendix to WITHIN THE STONE, professional lapidaries SI and ANN FRAZIER and mineral scientist ROBERT HUTCHINSON provide a detailed description and commentary for each specimen.
"Bill Atkinson uses digital technology to reveal the inner beauty of rocks." -- Mark Edward Harris,
"From thousands of images, Atkinson has selected his prize photos for his fascinating new book, 'Within the Stone'." -- Philip Ryan
"How can the static, the mineral, be so explosively full of motion? Maybe these are chips of the philosopher's stone." -- Raold Hoffman
"Imagery so lifelike that it evokes movement ... a new standard of excellence for photo books and a surprising new insight." -- Kim Long
"Nature is never perfect, but near perfection was achieved in these photos. This book is a beautiful work of art." -- John Koivula
"Secret worlds, secret designs in mesmerizing stone photos. Who says only geologists can find poetry in a rock?" -- National Geographic
"The lucidly written appendix is one of the better descriptive references around for the polished materials depicted." -- Anthony Kampf
"Within the Stone has something for everyone. Graphic artists, gem-show freaks, printmakers, geologists and Lovecraft fanatics alike will rejoice." -- Gary Singh
High tech meets timeless beauty. Arresting images are paired with scientific profiles and literary responses by esteemed experts and writers. -- Lapidary Journal
One of Apples original software stars, Atkinson is nowadays less interested in code than in polished stones photographed as art. -- Dan Miller