The Tidal Pool

August 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"Coastal New Hampshire" is a term which surprises many. New Hampshire has an ocean coastline? Indeed, it does.

While it's compact at just 18 miles, the Granite State's Atlantic shore is beautiful. It includes sandy beaches and rocky outcroppings, a couple of state parks, and marshes. With a maximum tidal range of roughly 10 feet, its appearance can change significantly depending on the water level.

One of my favorite places to shoot when the water is low is a very large tidal pool in Rye. It's ringed by the rocks which form it; then, depending on the water level, individual rocks which are scattered in the middle become more - or less - visible. If there is no wind and the water is perfectly calm, the pool will reflect the color in the sky. The resulting contrast between the water in the pool and the ocean beyond can be interesting.

There are obviously a lot of "ifs" involved in making photos at this location.

"If" there are clouds to pick up pre-sunrise color.

"If" the water is still.

"If" the rocks which are visible are positioned relative to the day's color such that a composition can be made.

And so on.

Then there's the biggest variable of all during the longest days of summer: the sun. Because it rises significantly further to the north in the weeks surrounding the solstice, and since there is a point which juts into the ocean not far up the coast from my tidal pool, land can easily get in the way of the shot.

It isn't often that everything comes together...but when it does, it's a special morning.

This is one of my favorite shots at the tidal pool so far this year:

Morning UnfoldsMorning UnfoldsColorful palette in the eastern sky at daybreak is reflected in a large tidal pool on the Atlantic Coast at Rye, New Hampshire. A long exposure blurs the ocean beyond, contrasting nicely with the still water in the foreground.



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