Friday, 26 June 2009

Looking at pattern in the landscape or seascape

Patterns in the sand. Mawgan Porth, Cornwall. Photo: Vivien Blackburn

I really enjoyed the slide shows of Gesa's beachcombing and thought I'd show something similar ... but a little different :>)

I'm often attracted by strong pattern elements in the landscape (seascape) - the pattern of shining wet pools or ripples, the bands of colour, or textures and shapes of rocks. Here are a few from my files across the years. They were taken in Cornwall (Mawgan Porth, Cape Cornwall and Sennen Cove), Devon (Hele Bay and Lynmouth) and North Norfolk (Hunstanton, Holkham and Wells next the Sea).

The pictures of the sand, sculpted by the sea are near the low water mark at Mawgan Porth in Cornwall. The wild seas sculpt deep pools out of the sand and as the water evaporates it leaves miniature steps down the sides, where the water has washed against successive mini 'cliffs' in the breeze. The beach shelves fairly steeply so the tide doesn't go out too far. The pools themselves make a pattern across the beach at the seaward end. They can be over 2 feet deep and walking to the surf is a zigzag path around them.

In Norfolk in contrast, the beach shelves very gently and the tide can go out for a mile or two, moving in or out rapidly over the flat beach. Pools of water are much shallower here,and the water nowhere near as clear, as it contains silt from the rivers and drainage dykes that join the sea from the farm land around the Wash (a large bay).

You may well enjoy the work of Tony Howell who takes fantastic photos of Cornwall, I really like his close ups of rocks.


Lindsay said...

Very interesting to see both of you patterning ideas. Beautiful photos and I love seeing what you think is worth photographing.

Gesa said...

These are great photos, Vivien - I like the intermingling of close-ups and landscapes a lot - and while I'm a bit rubbish with Photoshop, I am thinking of an idea of morphing two of them together... almost step by step letting a pool of ripple melt, merge, morph into a blue horizon line distance...
And, yes, ditto to Lindsay's comment: what capture the others' imagination is very interesting.

vivien said...

I've merged close ups into distant shots in the past and it works beautifully Gesa - I left them just as digital images and didn't work further in paint much but keep meaning to go back to experiment further in real media.

I also didn't show the steps at all which sounds a really interesting idea and well worth developing.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

at photos Vivien - and I also love your paintings of Norfolk where you focus on the patters at the shoreline

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Duh - I obviously type too fast for Blogger!

That was meant to say "Great photos"!

Anonymous said...

So incredibly different to what we see on the beach here. We have heavy black sand here, strong howling winds and rough seas. Hmm, maybe I should grab some photos tomorrow and show you. Spme of the photos of wet sand you have are just magic.

vivien said...

thanks Katherine :>)

Cath - yes please do show photos of your black sand - it would be really interesting to see the contrast. Down in the southern end of Cornwall the sands are very pale, which is why the sea colour is so intensely blue/turquoise/viridian , with the light reflecting back.

I didn't know until I read it somewhere last year that water isn't transparent. It is apparently blue.

Charlene Brown said...

Can we look forward to a 'patterns in the sand' challenge, Vivien?

Jeanette said...

The patterns everywhere in nature are very interesting. I find myself staring at things that seem to pass others by, seeing shapes and patterns in nature.

Your photos are very interesting. I especially like the shapes in the sand.

vivien said...

Yes Jeanette people just don't notice things.

I was once coming home from uni when I noticed the clouds - a really strange cloud formation of even rows of stripes of cloud that stretched as far as the eye could see, evenly spaced and sort of like razor shells - but they were banded in pale rainbow colours!

I kept showing passers by and their reaction was 'oh yeah' as they walked on

They were apparently nacreous clouds and it was a very rare occurrence. It made the news that night.

Charlene now there's an idea!

Most people didn't even notice!

muddy red shoes said...

beautiful pictures Viv, paintings using the subject would be fantastic, like the starlight painting that won the peoples vote last year I think at the RA summer some now!!

Tessa said...

Beautiful photos, taking me back to many times by the sea.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Patterns and textures are so easily overlooked, we usually ooh and aah so quickly about the sunset or the huge waves, but just look at these lovely patterns!