Standing at the water’s edge on the beach at Rathmullan in County Donegal a few weeks ago I watched the movement of water change the shape of the bootlace-like seaweed caught in the ebb and flow of the gentle tide.
Prior to that and on my walk up the beach I’d taken this photograph – a composition of nature – far enough away from the reach of the water. Still life . . . for the time being.
At the point I had turned to walk back, the water’s edge had quite abruptly transformed into a carpet of tiny shells. More of a doormat really – just a narrow band concentrated in the corridor where sand meets sea. Only by slowing down to a deliberate plod, with frequent stops to study what was around my feet, could I pick out the subtleties and highlights of this beautiful ground cover.
I walked literally at the water’s edge on my return journey and became fascinated by the compositions being formed with this string of the sea as it was pushed and pulled by the movement of the water. The seaweed was occupying the same transition zone as the shells further up the beach but here there was just a smooth floor of sand. I stood with my camera trained on the seaweed trying to anticipate when the interaction of water and vegetation would give me the most interesting composition. The sequence of shots I came away with was as interesting collectively, as was each image individually.
The beauty and the ways of nature makes any walk along the beach rewarding, so whatever I did or did not capture on camera mattered little. There’s always interest at the water’s edge.
Changing composition at the water’s edge