‘Tides and Tempests’ By Rachael Talibart
160 Pages and over 120 images!
Foreword By Hans Strand
The rhythm of the tides, tethered to the waxing and waning of the moon, shapes our very sense of time. It also, literally, carves the wild edges of the land on which we live. If land is our realm, then the ocean is nibbling at our boundaries; its twice daily incursions sluice, whittle, sometimes even flail our habitat away. The tides make coastal photography exciting because the land changes dramatically every day, twice a day, and you can never be sure what the thing you photographed at low tide one day will look like the next, when the sea whisks up its sorcerer’s cloak once more, to reveal some new magic.
Understanding the tides and how they interact with a location is a logistical and safety necessity but there is also a less prosaic benefit to becoming tide-aware, or even obsessed. Some of my happiest days have been when I have stayed on a beach through a full tidal cycle. It’s amazing how much more you see, and appreciate with your other senses, when you have the luxury of time.
My relationship with the sea is complicated. I am a poor swimmer and a poorly sailor. I’m definitely happier and safer viewing the ocean from the shore, but my encounters with the sea number among the most memorable and formative moments of my life. All storms are frightening and fascinating, but when they happen over the churning ocean, their ferocity seems even more astonishing. Standing on the beach in the teeth of a gale, life certainly feels a little more tenuous and a lot more precious. Whether it’s waves that look like monsters, vertigo inducing skies or the mesmerising patterns to be found within the boiling surf, the coast on a turbulent day is a pirate’s treasure trove of inspiration. The sea beckons us, frightens us and confounds us. It confronts us with our own unimportance. On the whole, I think that’s a good thing.
If I am lucky enough to reach my dotage, I hope some kindly soul will wheel me down to the shore often – I think I could be quite content just watching the tide come and go every day.
Rachael Talibart - August 2020