This photo and the ones below are from a series I did at Duncanby, in Rivers Inlet, in the summer of 2011.

It had been raining for days, making everything grey and sodden, and to add insult to injury, the weather forecast that evening said a storm was on its way. But the clouds parted for a brief while, and so we hurried up the dock to stretch our legs before the dark and wet closed in on us.  As we reached the shore, the low-angle light revealed what the falling tide had left behind: a network of miniature rivers, channels and valleys, highlighted by varying colour sediments and shells dotting the sand—bringing the tiny beach alive with a beauty that took my breath away.

We shared the little stretch of shoreline that evening with a woman and her miniature dog. They were there to relieve not only the pooch’s bladder, but the owner’s boredom at being cooped up aboard her boat for so many wet days. She was eager for distraction and struck up a conversation with my husband.

In the meantime I was trying to capture the intricacies of the designs in the sand – no two alike and all of them fascinating – and found myself in a race against the unleashed dog. Eager to explore every inch of beach, the mutt was leaving a trail of footprints in the wet sand that threatened to derail my project. So I had to stay focused and work fast to keep ahead of him!

At some point I overheard the woman ask my husband, “What in the world is your wife doing?” She seemed surprised that anyone could be so absorbed in pointing a camera repeatedly at that little sweep of sand. Clearly, although we were in the same place, we each saw a very different beach that evening.

More from my Duncanby series – click for larger view:

After the Ebb  After the Ebb #2  Dogging the Ebb 
Ebb and Flow   Ebb and Flow #2 Ebb Scatter

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

7 responses »

  1. Fred Bailey says:

    Laurie:
    Sandstone shots are so hard to take well, but reveal the true artist’s eye.
    Well done.
    Fred

  2. I love the story. I’ve had pooches and humans block my perfect shot or alter the scene before I can click my shutter, too, so I know how you felt. It’s a very nice series of images. Thanks for posting them!

  3. Thanks for the kudos! My posts aren’t as frequent as they could be…but between posts you might want to periodically check out my “Portfolio” pages (see menu at top of page), as I will continue to add new photos to these pages. including many that don’t have posts. Clicking on those image will bring up a larger view and a description – not exactly a “post” but hopefully of interest to you all the same.

  4. ehpem says:

    Laurie, thanks for drawing my attention to these photographs, I somehow missed this post.

    I love these aerial images of river bars and braided stream channels. However, I am staying away from Rivers Inlet – I can barely imagine the size of the animal that left that paw print writ large on the landscape.

    • Thanks ehpem, and glad you like them – but no need to avoid the place! The paw print is actually a tiny dog, and the channels and bars are not a river at all, just designs left in the sand by the outgoing tide. I took the photos with a wide angle lens at close range, and the low angle evening light helped turn “molehills into mountains”, so to speak…it seemed like kind of a Great Rift Valley in miniature!

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