The UK often describes itself as a sea-faring nation. We are an island people. We feel drawn to the sea. I live more or less dead centre in the UK – it’s a three-hour drive to reach the sea in any direction. That may not sound far to many of you reading this, but on congested roads it’s a long day trip. I haven’t seen the sea so far this year except from an airplane. I miss it.

I was going through the archive over the weekend in between watching Wimbledon, The Tour de France and the British Grand Prix. You can’t escape the Grand Prix where I live – it’s less than five miles away and the noise, like a swarm of angry bees, is hard to ignore. In addition the Red Arrows flew directly over our house repeatedly as they performed one of their memorable displays.

I was looking at the sea on my screen and found this image.

DSC_3855_2I remember the day very clearly although it was four years ago. This was taken at Littlehampton on the south coast not far from Brighton. It was autumn. One of those days when the weather couldn’t really make up its mind what mood it was in. There was no wind to speak of. The sun came and went, but it wasn’t warm. The clouds rolled by – some benign, some not so benign. Was it going to rain or wasn’t it? The sea was indifferent, almost moody. And far out to sea the light flickered between the clouds. It was a minimalist scene. I watched the light – a swathe of crepuscular rays – and shot the image.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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30 Responses to Rays

  1. ShimonZ says:

    For me the sea is only an hour and a half away… and even so, it is rare that I visit… though I love it very much. I can understand the difficulty. Nice image.

  2. Adrian Lewis says:

    Hi Andy! I very much like the muted colours here and the wonderful Minimalism, and the format’s just right too. I know what you mean about being away from the sea, much of my young life was spent beside it, tho things became far more “inland” after that – but Bristol is quite near it. Had I the cash, I would probably end up somewhere where I could throw boots and a coat on early every morning and walk off up some beach! Adrian

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Adrian. I spent quite a few of my childhood holidays on the Llyn Peninsula of N Wales – places like Abersoch, Nefyn. The sea was so close and some of the beaches up there are quite extraordinary.

  3. Len says:

    With all of the things going on to distract you, it was karma that you came upon this beautiful serene photo Andy. Terrific sun rays and composition.

  4. oneowner says:

    We live very close to Lake Ontario and I guess that is very much like the sea. I find myself going there about once per week but it’s the most fun when the weather turns bad. Or, like the case here, when you are not sure what the weather will be. Great shot.

    • LensScaper says:

      Images of sea, seem to require impressive skies. I can think of a few images where the sky was the most important feature. Thanks for commenting, Ken

  5. seekraz says:

    That’s beautiful, Andy…inspiring….

  6. Pete Buckley says:

    Nice shot… captures the interraction of sea and sky.

  7. Lisa Gordon says:

    What serendipity! This is truly so beautiful.

  8. John Linn says:

    >>One of those days when the weather couldn’t really make up its mind what mood it was in.

    Ken beat me to the comment… it is that kind of day that produces great pictures. That is a nice strong horizon!

  9. The sky here is, of course, beautiful, but I also like that construction (a pier?). It sets up a different rhythm from the one of the rays. Nice.

    • LensScaper says:

      It’s not a pier, I’m sure of that. I wondered if it might be a groyne (breakwater) but the angle looks wrong for that. I think it may be a pipe discharging treated foul water some distance off shore. Glad you like the sky.

  10. Awesome sunbeams in this shot, Andy. I thought that was a really long pier or causeway until I read the comments above. Whatever it’s purpose, it adds a nice element to the overall scene.

    I’ve been very fortunate living by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Factor in the many rivers and tributaries and water is never far away.

    • LensScaper says:

      You’re a lucky man living that close to the Ocean, Jimi. I must make it a priority to get a day or two on the coast later this summer. Many thanks for commenting.

  11. Meanderer says:

    A wonderful scene, Andy. An Autumn shot; perfect. I love the sea but don’t like crowds and the hustle and bustle of Summertime seaside spots. I tend to visit during Autumn and Winter when it is peaceful and even more beautiful.

    • LensScaper says:

      I absolutely agree, Meanderer. I can’t remember the last time I spent a holiday by the sea. I get very easily bored on a beach when it is crowded. Thanks very much for your comment. More from this spot on Friday.

  12. poppytump says:

    Andy – what a lovely calming shot to come across in your archives in the midst of all the sport and racing frenzy . I like the expansive view here in your photo and the unpredictable state of the sky 😉 … strangely enough I had a similar one only just yesterday .. we were down at nearby the Bridge crossings over the Severn.
    Here’s wishing you a real sea view again in the not too distant future !

  13. Chillbrook says:

    A fabulous image Andy. What can I say, seven miles seems too far for me at times. I love the sea and it’s the sea and this fabulous Cornish coastline that I love to photograph. Would be great to see you in Cornwall.. I recently drove up to Heathrow to pick up a friend and back again, it really didn’t seem so far somehow although you’re a good hour on from there of course. Travel in the early hours, the miles fly by and lots of cheap deals on holiday cottages down here I’m sure of it.. 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      You have some wonderful coastline in Cornwall, Adrian, for sure. We spent our honeymoon in ST Ives and Salcombe, and we’ve been talking about re-visiting the area only the other day. If we do make it, I’ll be sure to let you know. Before then we are back off to Switzerland. Thanks for writing.

  14. shoreacres says:

    What a journey you’ve taken me on.

    It was the mention of Brighton that did it. For the first time in decades, I thought of a concert march from my music-making days. It was written by William P. Latham, and called “Brighton Beach.” You can hear a fine version here, with some good shots of British soldiers during WWII.

    There’s a comment on the page by Latham’s daughter, Carol She says her dad wrote the piece after being at Brighton Beach in the War.

    One last tidbit. Latham taught composition and music theory at the University of Northern Iowa. He left there in 1965, but I had the opportunity to play “Brighton Beach” under his direction my freshman year in college.

    • LensScaper says:

      What a fascinating digression, Linda. Thank you. Life is full of unexpected connections and coincidences. I’ve just listened to the link – an attractively textured piece of music. More from Littlehampton tomorrow but totally unconnected to the sea image, except the sea is very close by.

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