It’s easy when you have a dog. The charging collie clearly loves a beach. But I’m having as much fun as she is. You see, one of the greatest places to see the sky is the beach…
Where the ocean meets the land is a wonderful place. Rocky, sandy or urban-developed, this ‘littoral zone’ has a special magic that spills over into opportunities for the photographer.
Above is an example of simply being there at the right time. A perfect spring morning at Heysham Beach, near Morecambe. Tess (the collie) did her usual job of dragging me from the car and along the lane that leads down to the sea. After a few chucks of her frisbee, I noticed there was a ‘tear’ developing in the beautifully mottled clouds. Emerging in the gap was the most beautiful blue…
Tess had to wait a moment while I snapped away. The colour was so deeply blue, I had to feast on the potential, exploiting every angle the camera could cope with.
Leaving the beach involves a steep climb up a hill that separates the two parts of the village. On a clear day, the views down into the village are a rich source of photographs. Occasionally, the sky rather than the sea becomes worthy of being the primary subject. Exploiting this often requires the ‘vertical panorama’ that I’ve described in previous posts. An example of this is above.
It’s not just natural features that make interesting photos. The coast can be host to some of the most adventurous architecture, too. The radical design of Morecambe’s ocean racing building, above, lends itself to fascinating structural components, like its dramatic stairways. In bright sunlight these look good in either colour or black and white.
The final photograph, above, is classically peaceful. All the shots here were taken on the same day, with a perfectly blue sky. In this image, a restored skiff had just been sailed into the small bay and was in the process of being moored. The natural curve of the breakwater rocks led straight to it. All I had to do was find a careful route over the deadly stones – which are not designed to be walked on!
©Stephen Tanham, 2021.
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a modern yet mystical journey through the forest of personality to the sunrise of Being.