Shoreline images - the distant horizon, the cry of the gulls, the rush of the waves, the fresh sea air, sand crunching beneath your shoes. It is easy to focus on the big picture and miss the other images, silently waiting to be discovered. And that was exactly my experience until one day, not long ago, I discovered what I had been missing and actually started 'seeing' instead of just 'looking'. Ever since, I have been gathering up the magical images which can be found in the rocks, cliffs and reflections around the Cornish coast.
I soon learned that timing was an important factor and that tide, wind, weather, waves, erosion, shifting sand all had to be taken into account when taking the photographs. After a storm, the rocks can be laid bare or buried deep under the sand. The waves can haul vast quantities of sand up the beach and then, within a single tide, the profile changes completely. No mechanical digger could compete with this amazing feat of nature.
When I am photographing the rocks I feel in awe at the vastness of time and distance which have shaped their formation. I look closely at the lines and patterns in the rocks and imagine the sand and silt being swept down to the ocean by the ancient rivers and slowly settling - the first steps in forming those same rocks which I am looking at through the lens.
One day, someone was watching me taking photographs and seemed puzzled at why I was finding the rocks so interesting. Suddenly she saw what I could see and cried out 'Look at all those patterns. It is like we are walking on treasure!'Porthleven Tide Times Return to About