When the mind is still

The title is inspired by J. Krishnamurti, from this passage in particular:

"When the mind is still, tranquil, not seeking any answer or any solution, neither resisting nor avoiding - it is only then that there can be a regeneration, because then the mind is capable of perceiving what is true; and it is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free."

Krishnamurti, 'Total Freedom: the Essential Krishnamurti'

This was a long exposure photograph (around 2 minutes), taken at Penarth seafront just after dawn one September morning.

Powerful beyond measure

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson, 'A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"'

The sea is grounding and inspiring.

The obstacle is the path

Zen proverb.

This photograph was taken just before dawn, using a vintage Helios 44-2 lens. This lens creates swirly, out of focus areas, particularly in the edges and corners of the frame. I thought this reflected the movement of the sea nicely.

The lone and level sands stretch far away

This is from the famous poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

This photograph was taken just before the sun set at Rest Bay in Porthcawl. A long exposure of the rising tide washing over the sand formations.

The reverse side also has a reverse side

Zen proverb.

This was an overcast morning with the sun struggling to shine its rays through the clouds. A rare scene where the sea was brighter than the sky.

The gift itself

This is one of my favourite seascapes. The title comes from the quote by John Green,

“Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough.

Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating.

But, ultimately, that doesn't change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.”

The continuation of the past

Another Krishnamurti quote:

"Education is not merely a matter of training the mind. Training makes for efficiency, but it does not bring about completeness.

A mind that has merely been trained is the continuation of the past, and such a mind can never discover the new. That is why, to find out what is right education, we will have to inquire into the whole significance of living."

Krishnamurti, 'Total Freedom: the Essential Krishnamurti'

If you look carefully you'll see the shapes of two swimmers in the sea. The long exposure has blurred their figures. I had considered cloning them out but I liked their shapes and the balance they give to the frame.

What is to give light must endure burning

Taken from Viktor Frankl's book, The Search for Meaning

This photograph was taken of the falling tide from an elevated perspective, the retreating waves ablaze across the shoreline.


From the poem of the same name by W.S. Merwin,

"Your absence has gone through me

Like thread through a needle.

Everything I do is stitched with its color."

This photograph was taken just after the sun rose one summer morning, its rays dancing through the incoming waves.

Nothing is permanent

Zen proverb.


Inspired by the poem by  C. P. Cavafy, The City.

It's always the journey that matters.

Gold at evening

R.S. Thomas is one of my favourite poets, and this quote is taken from The View from the Window.

Like a painting it is set before one,

But less brittle, ageless; these colours

Are renewed daily with variations

Of light and distance that no painter

Achieves or suggests. Then there is movement,

Change, as slowly the cloud bruises

Are healed by sunlight, or snow caps

A black mood; but gold at evening

To cheer the heart. All through history

The great brush has not rested,

Nor the paint dried; yet what eye,

Looking coolly, or, as we now,

through the tears' lenses, ever saw

This work and it was not finished?

Endings and beginnings

Inspired by the quote by Jonathan Lockwood Huie:

"Celebrate endings for they precede new beginnings."

Lines in the sand left by the retreating tide, with movement created by panning the camera across the scene.

Being here

I seem to find myself at the shore in Penarth around dawn most days. Discovering the sea and the cold has given me so much.

You can't miss the pier at Penarth - it's part of the sky and waterline - and is part of the scene I see in the mornings.

This was a 5 minute exposure taken before dawn.

A state of unawareness

Inspired by this quote by The Daily Zen:

"We notice unusually beautiful things because they jolt us out of a state of unawareness. The secret is that we are surrounded by beauty everyday. We just have to make a conscious effort to notice and appreciate it."

There are plenty of rocks at the shore. Sometimes one jumps out at you.

A quiet state of mind

"To understand anything, any human or scientific problem, what is important, what is essential? A quiet mind, is it not?

A mind that is intent on understanding. It is not a mind that is exclusive, that is trying to concentrate, which again is an effort of resistance. If I really want to understand something, there is immediately a quiet state of mind.

When you want to listen to music or look at a picture which you love, which you have a feeling for, what is the state of mind? Immediately there is a quietness, is there not?"

Krishnamurti, 'Total Freedom: the Essential Krishnamurti'