Ephemeral Wave Action

Watching ocean waves easily puts me in a trance – the way waves slowly rise up into a shelf wall, the moment when the first white curls dance on the ridge, the rippling effect down the wave as it coils itself around a tube of air, until it finally collapses upon itself and runs foamy fingers up the beach.

up or down

Wave after wave, building and collapsing, again and again, until my whole body begins to pulse with the eternal rhythm of the ocean.

foam roller

What I love as much as watching ocean waves is to photograph them. One of these days, I hope to stand in awe of the really big ones in Hawaii. For now, the smaller ones will do.

The only slow part in the wave formation process is the building up to the crest.

building momentum

Once, the wave begins to spill down the other side, everything happens really fast. Only the camera can capture the ephemeral shapes and patterns that form spontaneously, determined by any number of variables – perhaps wind, perhaps an undertow, perhaps a preceding wave that folds back into the new wave.

Dancing on the ridge

Then there are all kinds of shapes that only exist for the blink of an eyelash.

Can you see the dark body of a reptile gliding through the top of the wave?

reptile cresting

Glittering garlands?

glittering garland

A horse’s silvery mane?

silver mane

A wild hissy fit?

throwing a fit

The opening to a cave?

cave entrance

Sometimes, you can see the sand being whirled up into the wave, like sand clouds rising in a landscape:

whirling sand

At other times, the wave sends out little foamy creatures to dance on the beach:


The theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Ephemeral.

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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31 Responses to Ephemeral Wave Action

  1. Madhu says:

    Gorgeous seascapes!


  2. schuttzie says:

    I, too, am mesmerized by waves and the ocean and sit for hours staring out at them. They are really amazing so interesting how each is different. You’ve captured some fabulous photos and describe them beautifully!


  3. Excellent photos of ephemeral waves, Annette. I’m sure they must be hard to capture in such detail. Wonderful! 🙂


  4. Barneysday says:

    Absolutely wonderful shots of the breaking waves. I believe your camera caught images that would pass too quickly for the eye to see. Well done


  5. Aggie says:

    thank you for the joy.


  6. jpeggytaylor says:

    Beautiful images – you have captured some wonderful wave moments. I love watching the waves too.


  7. Levysoro says:

    Eternally ephemeral!


  8. bythebriny says:

    I love how you caught those lacy edges.


  9. ” Such is life” , I only can say, what you have so very well captured in your amazing images


  10. Aileen Hunt says:

    Lovely shots, Annette. Especially like that last one. So dynamic and playful.


  11. Anarette says:

    Gorgeous images. I especially like the hissy fit.


  12. This is great! Some people see images in clouds, you see them in waves too. And I agree, a good hissy fit every once in a while is such a relief!


  13. How cool is this? Another example of how the camera, in the hands of the right person, can show something we did not know was there.


  14. Maria F. says:

    These are just fantastic, I love all of them.


  15. Pingback: Ephemeral | My Atheist Blog

  16. Wow your photos are great. I often take photos when I walk by the beach and show them also at my blog, but my camera is not so good as yours 😉


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