Sommer first saw Edward Weston’s photographs in 1933 in the limited edition 1932 book The Art of Edward Weston. Sommer subsequently met and befriended Weston in 1936 while on vacation in Los Angeles. Within hours of meeting each other, the two men were sharing work, and Weston’s compositionally arresting and lush prints encouraged Sommer to pursue photography seriously. “[Weston] had a wonderful dedication to photography and he was able to make beautifully rich consistent images of what he saw,” Sommer later wrote. “It was amazing the things he was alerted to. It was very helpful having a friendship with somebody with that much integrity. I was stimulated by him and learned practical things.” This close-up of a halved nautilus shell comes from a ground-breaking group of shell photographs that Weston made in 1927, and it attests to his ability to accentuate and dramatize the forms he saw in nature.