It is not clear whether the clam shell had blue in it, or whether it was reflecting the whelk fragment. Whatever the case, this still life was a burst of color on a very grey beach.
I just now realized that this is my one year anniversary on this site: one year of posting photographs of the tide line. With the exception of several days in July when I had difficulty with internet connection, I have managed to post every day.
Most of my photography is done along the tide lines in New Jersey, USA, and most of those photographs are from the small town of Spring Lake. Let me tell you, it has been a bitterly cold winter on this beach! Some days this winter I battled freezing fingers and streaming eyes because I could not ignore the beautiful still lifes arranged by our too-frequent storms. I also managed to visit several warmer locations this past year, (FL and the BVI), and have also included on the blog several photos from a visit the year prior to one of my favorite beaches anywhere, Cocklawburn (England).
I have been walking tide lines since, well, since I learned to walk! The beach has always been my place of calmness and solitude, even in the summer when it is teeming with people. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book, Gift of the Sea, has been a favorite book since college. The sea spoke to her, too. If you have not read any of her work, I encourage you to do so. She was a woman of grace and strength.
Eleven years ago, I took up scuba diving and find it as peaceful and meditative as walking a tide line. Well, most of the time. The shark dives with Stuart Coves that were my 55th birthday present from my husband were not very meditative . . . but they won’t count! I suppose it is the ocean that is “my” place, and not just its shores.
I don’t remember when I started to notice still lifes along the tide line; it was decades ago. However, I began photographing them just a few years ago when we attended our nephew’s wedding in Huntingdon Beach, CA. None of the photographs from that trip were noteworthy, but they were the catalyst. After that trip I became driven to record some of the remarkable arrangements that I find when I walk. Some of the arrangements I find are actually humorous, some are stunningly beautiful and captivating, and others are simple and meditative. I hope to begin to categorize the photos this spring, in part because my files are becoming unruly!
Simply stated, I started this blog because I wanted to learn. After retiring the year prior from education (teacher and dean), I wanted to do something that would continue to challenge me artistically and technologically. I wanted to continue as a learner, as I have encouraged my middle schoolers to do.
I blog almost exclusively from my iPad, and primarily use Snapseed for any minor editing. The WordPress app is not ideal (and every iteration seems to have some glitch or another), but it works, and it allows me to take my blog with me wherever I go. Next year’s goals include learning to use Photoshop more successfully. I photograph with a Nikon D3200 using an AF-Nikkor 18-55ml, and another goal for the year ahead is to learn to work with the macro lens that my husband gave me for Christmas. I also hoped that through blogging, I could learn from other photographers, and I certainly have! This I KNOW will continue (thank you all!).
What I was unprepared for was the community aspect of blogging; I have grown to appreciate this probably most of all. Comments and critiques from regular followers serve to inform my work and enhance the experience in ways that surprise me and teach me. This is the richest aspect of blogging.
So thanks ever so much to all those who follow my work on Tide Line Still Life. Please continue to inform and critique, and know that you are appreciated. I relish your thoughts, and even a simple ‘like’ brightens my day. To those whose photography I follow, please continue to grow so that I may continue to learn from you. I will, in turn, endeavor to keep learning and growing through the next year.
Today’s Still Life:
This photo, to me, is one of those that I could look at for a long time. I find the complexity of lines in the shell fragment fascinating and complex, and a foil to the simple line of the reed. The shadow grounds the objects and ties them to one another. It is a simple photograph on a day that I have been uncharacteristically chatty!
Really, it is amazing to think about all the “accidental” beauty that is at my feet when I walk the tide line!
“Sea flames”, as I call them don’t always form with the receding tide. I am not sure what the determining factors are, but whatever they may be, on a day last week they created lovely patterns along the lowering tide line. The simplicity of the sand pattern, shell fragment, and the light on the wet sand was mesmerizing for much of my walk.
A walk along Sandy Hook’s long North Beach yesterday presented many wonderful still life photos. This moon shell fragment was visible from a distance away because of its vibrant color. The reed ‘V’ was a bit of serendipity when I was close enough to photograph!
Those of you who have followed for a while know that I don’t arrange any of the objects in my photographs. I photograph what I find on the tide line without touching any objects. That is what makes a still life like this so much fun.
Erosion takes many forms along the tide line.;