To Minehead on the Life Express

Minehead is a seaside town in Somerset situated on the Bristol Channel and it has a railway station, one of ten stations that are on the West Somerset Railway. These steam railways have grown as tourist attractions allowing historic trains to run on lines that were closed down in the 1960s and 1970s due to the competition from road travel. Transport changes, and yet it also hangs around – classic cars, horses and steam trains.

Last weekend, I went by road, on a break of sorts, to Minehead (for the first time). Having read Saturday morning’s Daily Create (#tdc2098 We’re All Changing) which asked for the creation of a photo of something changing, I thought it was a good create to do (I like the photo creates), but I wasn’t sure that I would actually complete it. The task is inspired by autumn leaves – the very visible changing of the seasons. Don’t you love the low sunlight this time of year? In your eyes, long shadows.

I decided to go for a late night walk around the town and took my smartphone with me intending to try and take a photo for the Daily Create on the theme of change. The sky was dominated by a bright full moon and so I took a couple of photos:

moon 1

moon 2

The first one was a little blurry. I tried to contrast the road lit by streetlights against the dark of the sky and water, but it didn’t really work. The second photo was much more successful, framed to include the rocks at the water’s edge. And in a moment of good fortune, the moonlight created a lovely crack of illumination around the outline of a cloud. But I decided that that the cameraphone format didn’t work, so I thought about cropping it in Instagram and to experiment with filters. Using Instagram I cropped the photo and chose the Hefe filter because it created a warm glow that I liked. When cropping the photo, I tried to position the horizon lights using the ‘Rule of Thirds’ for harmonious composition.

Like many people I thought that the tides are created by the gravitational ‘pull’ of the moon, but apparently it is more complicated than that. The moon plays a major factor, but the sun and the rotation of the earth create the tides too. But capturing a moon and a tide is a satisfying connection in an image. The moon helps to bulge the water in one direction, and the moon and the tides are constantly changing – the shape of the moon and the height of the tides, in a seasonal and monthly sequence.


I was so pleased with the photo I created that I decided it was worthy of a title – moon/tide/cloud/hole in reference to the four dominant aspects of the image – moonlight falling through a gap in the clouds onto the sea.

I did take a couple of other photos, but they didn’t have enough interest or appeal when compared to the moon shots. The idea of road works triggered a thought about change – making changes to the road or responding to a road that wears out and needs repairing and so on. It fitted the theme, but the images were bland.

roadworks 1

roadworks 2

Change is a great theme for creating stuff and it is possible to get quite philosophical about change. This is because there is only change. Everything is changing all the time and therefore permanence is an illusion. Heraclitus (a Greek philosopher) provides us with the idea that ‘the only thing that is constant is change’ – ‘universal flux’.  His most famous observation is that we can never step into the same river twice because the river is constantly changing. Life is change, a ride, constant in its fluidity.

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