Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Darkening Sea


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There's something so primal about the sea. Any sea is primal, but it's easy to be comfortable on a bright beach, or under a clear sea with coral-grown shallows under your flippers. It's a cold, hard sea that reminds you the ocean is a very different world to the one we evolved to live in. This was Whitby harbour's breakwaters at twilight, November 2006, under a biting wind. The sun was gone and we're looking east over the North Sea. The next country beyond that horizon is Norway, and the falling dusk and restless energy of the cold sea feel hostile to humans. Yet it's where the birds live, and this shot captured that essence: the herring gulls, the big, dusky seabirds that haunt the quays waiting for the fishing fleet to return, are the survivors of the coast, and here they are seen in their evening flight before settling for the dark hours. I took audio recordings of their unique, sweet cries, and was amazed that this image registered their flight so clearly. With the falling light I expected them to blur, but they are clear as daylight. The picture was slightly digitally enhanced for publication. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic, telephoto. Image by Mike.

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