Posted October 6th 2016
What is it about the sea that we find so mesmerising? Why is it that we can sit on a cliff-top bench and stare for ages at this vast expanse of gently-undulating water, or watch from a parked car alongside other spectators, like a transfixed audience at a drive-in movie? Even when the sky turns grey and the sea seems to follow suit, we can be hypnotised into a deep, thoughtful, trance.
For some people, it is probably quite a personal experience; a peaceful encounter with a great force. Maybe this is because of the almost godlike qualities of the sea: powerful yet approachable; able to give life and take life; unconquered and untamed; always to be respected. Occasionally it can become angry, but the sea is consistent and dependable. It does what is has always done. There should be no surprises.
And, in these days of modern technology, isn’t there something reassuring about the fact that we are still drawn so strongly to something totally natural and untouched by mankind?
But imagine, for a moment, what it would be like if the sea took a little rest every now and again, while none of us were looking. What if the waves were switched off, and the water was still for a few minutes? How might it look? Maybe something like the seascapes on this page.
The long exposures used to create these pictures give the sea an unreal appearance – like a vast pan of water that has been taken off the heat and left to rest, gently steaming. It is the calm after the storm. A portrait of a sleeping giant.
I find peace and tranquility in these images. Most of them were taken after sunset, when it was getting dark and the beaches and cliffs were deserted. It was just me and the sea. Somehow, I never felt alone.
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Above and cover image: Trevone Bay, North Cornwall.
Below: Whitby, North Yorkshire.