Brushes With Backlight

Here are a few golden hour scenes that benefit from back and side lighting. In this set, the rising sun illuminates the tops of a lost buoy, cobbles, limpets, and snails while the posterior rim of a California mussel shell and the curly blades of a lovely red seaweed pick up fire from behind.

A lost buoy at rest in the cobbles. Surf zone and some offshore rocks in the distance.
Golden hour in the cobbles

A backlit limpet (Lottia) sits among gooseneck barnacles.
Perched on Pollicipes

Limpets and an empty barnacle partially illuminated on the shady side of a California mussel. Gooseneck barnacles behind.
Fleeting shade

Backlit periwinkles (Littorina) atop a boulder.

Backlit Mastocarpus (probably) shares a boulder top with Phaeostrophion.
Mastocarpus (I think)

All my selections are from January 26 except Mastocarpus, which is from March 27. Perched on Pollicipes previously appeared in Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome: Winter Scenes From the High Intertidal.



    1. Looking back, I didn’t have high hopes for that shot. Now, I wish I had spent more time on those cobbles. Cobbles seem always to get short-changed. Thanks a bunch!

    1. A belated thank you, Lisa! I like that one a lot too. I’d also love to see it without the buoy because the wet cobbles in that low light were pretty nice. Anyhow, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know!

  1. Ahhh…. the beautiful, serene golden hour. It’s been far too long since I caught one of those…. sigh.
    Thanks for the luscious images!

    1. Nobody knows the beauty of that hour better than you. Thank you so much for taking a look and especially for taking the time to mention it.

  2. Very educational and professionally presented.

    I’m a friend of Marie Reeder. She forwarded your latest post to me.

    I volunteer teach at a local school and am wondering if you’d be willing to allow me to utilize your posts for in class discussions amongst the students I serve. My goals are to bring awareness of life along California’s shores but also bring awareness to various issues plaguing California’s beaches. In order to convert a problem into a viable solution one must educate those rising up to become part of the solution for the various life forms significantly impacted by man’s persistent stupidity, arrogance, and greed.

    I also hope to teach stewardship in order for each student to understand how significant their individual and corporate (as a class) contributions of time and effort can be to the short and especially longterm health of California’s beaches.

    1. Hi Rick, Sure, you can use any of my posts and anything else you wish from my site. It’s quite a compliment! If you make hard copy materials or slides, I’d appreciate it if you could credit the source.
      What you’re doing is so important; your students are lucky to share time in the classroom with you. Much respect. Just a reminder that most of the scenes in my posts are from northern Oregon (you mentioned you’re in California), but the principles I allude to are applicable all along the west coast.
      Thank you for taking the time to ask me about using my materials. All the best- Steve

  3. Hey Steve, I’ll gladly give you credit for anything of yours I share be it verbal or otherwise. As one who often treks miles of Pacific coastline myself, I often acquire images of many compelling sites and scenes. However, I’ve yet to take my efforts out upon a blog as you have but your efforts here have certainly planted a seed or three in my mental garden. I love how this lays out for sharing what we do. You’ll also get inspiration credit on my first blog attempt whenever that day comes.

    I also greatly appreciate your respect for what I’ve chosen to do with the children I serve. It’s actually a win win for both the environment and these kids when we sew good seed into fertile minds helping them discern how best to grow solutions to many environmental problems currently plaguing our coastlines and waterways. Your imagery and insights will be invaluable as I go about this task. Much respect for blazing this educational trail for those of us to readily follow.

    Always the best in hopes for even better.
    ~ rick ~

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