“Lead them in,” said the man who taught me much about composition in photography. “You’ve got to ferry those looking at your images into the core of the shot…”

The steps, alone, were a perfect ‘lead’ down to the beach. Add in the storm wall and the high level of the promenade’s main body and you have a harmonic set of ‘pointers’.

The third element, and the reason the shot needed to be taken, was the way the central figure (my wife) and the collie were set against the curling pool of water from the draining high-tide.

(Above: the same shot without the ‘smooth’ filter applied)

Tess spends hours racing up and down the compacted sand, chasing the hi-bounce ball or the frisbee. I wasn’t expecting to find a new ‘view’ on this most familiar beach. Which goes to show that you shouldn’t discount the infinite combinations that nature can summon via light and tide.

I’ve put both shots in: after and before. I liked the second but wanted to get more emotion into the shot, and the use of the ‘smoothing’ filter seemed to offer that, allowing it to become more of a painting than a simple photo. Lens art is one of the names for this kind of approach. Purist photographers may not approve…

(Above: Functional rather than pretty, Heysham Beach has a fine collection of rock-pools. Best viewed in bright sunshine after a downpour or very high tide, like here. The surface of the beach is an ever-changing landscape)

Its a functional beach, rather than a pretty one. We’ve used it for years, it’s difficult to find ‘new angles’, but they are there…behind every tidal change. All we need is eyes and consciousness … and a willingness to ‘listen’ and see’ to what’s there.

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

5 Comments on “No strangers on the shore

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