Beach Comet

March 29, 2015

Beach Comet small

Photographer: David Steele
Summary AuthorDavid Steele

I walk regularly on Dunnet Beach, which lies near the northernmost point of Scotland's mainland. The beach is about 2.5 mi (4 km) long and backed by dunes. In winter the afternoon Sun illuminates the length of the beach at a low angle, throwing everything into strong visual relief. Groundwater seeps from the dunes and the land behind the beach while the tide recedes and flows as a film across the sand. Every pebble, shell, etc. sets up ripples that leave tails in the sand. I was struck by their resemblance to the tail of Comet Lovejoy. These sand wakes are regions of disturbed flow temporarily preserved until the next seepage occurs. Note also the delicate rows of parallel ripples formed predominantly by seepage washing over the beach sand. Photo taken on January 21, 2015.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 650D; Lens: Sigma 17-70mm zoom; Focal Length: 46.0mm
Aperture: ƒ/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 400; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows.