Pause and you may Discover…

Ottawa House Beach at low tide, Parrsboro, NS

Sometimes the big picture can be a little uninspiring…

…other times it can be overwhelming.

That’s when I stop, take a breath, sometimes even close my eyes to consciously clear my mind of preconceived expectations. And, just when I think there is not much to discover the sun slowly moves closer to the horizon and magic happens!

During a quick trip to the beach late in the day to catch some fresh air I set myself a little challenge. The idea for the self-imposed challenge was sparked by the following comment I so often hear: “Your photos are so wonderful. I could never do this…” When I disagree with that particular statement and suggest that anyone can learn to “see” people often shake their heads and move on or switch the subject altogether. The challenge I set for myself was simple and it can be copied by anyone. Here is your invitation!

The beach was illuminated and sparkled like the treasure chest in a pirate’s cave when light falls upon the hidden jewels. I quickly decided to find several square foot areas with typical compositions presented by Mother Nature. The shell and kelp featured in the slideshow above was one such composition. I made an image of what first caught my attention, then I moved closer and responded to the way the light was creating areas of shadow and dimension. The closer I moved in, the more I discovered and felt compelled to photograph.

I moved on and, only about three meters away, the evening sunlight presented the most mesmerizing show with the help of these flat foliose dulse blades.

Dulse and kelp continue to be a source of rich inspiration for my beach photo excursions. Whether they have recently been left behind by the receding tide or they are are in various drying stages moving toward decay near the high tide mark, dulse and kelp alike naturally demand attention.

The last slideshow example of an everyday find on the beach is a close up study of twisted wrack, a seaweed found in abundance covering large rocks that are completely submerged during high tide. Wave action pulls the individual plants loose and deposits them on the beaches. One might carelessly walk past until we take a closer look: Bend down, move in and let the light guide you…

May your week be filled with unexpected discoveries and may the light be favourable to draw attention to these treasures. Explore your backyard shortly after sunrise or just before the sun sets. You will be amazed how different flowers, fruits and even ordinary weeds will present themselves to you.

Enjoy! Make it a daily habit and you may just find a continuous source of inspiration. Warm wishes, Anna

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