Hearing the weather forecast predicting high winds this morning my intention was to head for the coast in the hope of giant waves breaking over the pier, and more impressively, the lighthouse. The tide was almost at its high point when I arrived, but there was no sign of monster waves, just more of the bright sunshine that challenged me yesterday.
Still the sun at least provided some backlighting for the spray that the wind was whipping off the wave tops. This was one of those occasions, in contrast to yesterday, where I think it’s acceptable to have the highlights burn out to pure white as you can see on the left of these images.
Deciding not to go for a portrait in this harsh light I returned later in the afternoon as the sun was starting to set. It was now at me back as I faced out to sea, giving perfect lighting for the white wave crests and breaking foam.
The sun’s position in the sky had another benefit; casting shadows that revealed the patterns on the sand created by other waves.
Yet it was something else caught by the light that please me most. A large “cloud” of sea birds, too distant to identify but probably dippers like these, was wheeling about the sky. Initially impressive for the black shapes they were throwing against the sky’s blue backdrop, as I raised the camera they turned again and the sun caught their pale underbellies in a flash of white. Sadly their shape disintegrated at the same moment, but they still make a striking sight, like a multitude of stars (though I can’t spot any constellations).
Still no portrait, but as I walked up the shore I spotted a body-boarder retrieving a child’s football from the water, to the delight of his mother. This was Thomas, still wet from his activity, and with that low sun I had no problem getting that detail into the shot. (Click on it to enlarge and you’ll see what I mean!)