Face-like shoreline reflected in waterStill of Morning, © Laurie MacBride

Early morning aboard a boat can be a wonderful time, especially when you’re anchored in a quiet spot. Before the daytime breeze starts to ripple the water’s surface, you can find an infinite variety of animal and human faces and recognizable shapes in the reflections around the shoreline.

I’m convinced that the symmetry of these images must have inspired the earliest west coast aboriginal artists: just turn the reflections on their sides, and you have natural totem poles.

I took the photo above at Fish Egg Inlet on BC’s Central Coast.

Here are a few more west coast shoreline photos – can you see the “totem poles”? (Click for larger view.)

Totemic shoreline reflection

Totemic shoreline reflectionsTotemic shoreline reflection

Totemic shore reflection

The photo at the top of this page, “Still of Morning”, is available as a mounted print or as a greeting card – please contact me if you’re interested.

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

8 responses »

  1. Brilliant work. I particularly like the images from Crease Islands and Fish Egg Inlet. They really do look like totem poles especially the light and shadows playing an important part on the Crease Island one. Great stuff.

  2. Wow, Laurie, you know I never saw that before but now that you’ve pointed it out I think you are right. Those reflections really do look like totem poles. That’s fascinating. Ironically I met a fellow today down here in Florida who carves totem poles. I’ll have to get his address and send him a link to your blog.

  3. Nathaniel sent me your link. What extraordinary photographs. An amazing “eye” helps the viewer to see, for sure. I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out because it’s all about seeing and not seeing. Nathaniel “sees”, as, it seems, do you Leslie

  4. Thanks for your lovely comments, Liam and N – glad you like the post. N, yes, I know of Leslie Pinder but haven’t yet read her novels. The trailer you sent is great – I will be looking forward to reading her new novel! Thanks so much.

  5. N says:

    Gorgeous shots and great insight! It’s one of those ‘aha!’ moments.

    Have you heard of the writer Leslie Pinder? She has a fiction novel coming out based on the true story of the taking of totem poles from Ninstints in the 50s by the UBC museum of anthropology. Interesting stuff,here’s a trailer:


    Thanks for the beautiful images,

  6. liammoriarty says:

    How interesting, Laurie! I never thought of that , but looking at your photos, I think you may well be right!

    Thanks for the perspective shift … 🙂

Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.