Beach Still Life

Life should be still at the beach, right? Jenni went home today, which is always my least favorite day of the year. The good news is, there are only three of them a year. But yesterday, we finally got a nice day to go to the beach. The weather the past 10 days has just been so iffy, with rain nearly every day. but Tuesday was one for the Chamber of Commerce … of which I’m a member.

Beach Chairs

I wanted to shoot some inanimate things. Still Life, if you will, but of everyday things at the beach. Here are our chairs, umbrella, cooler and towel. This is life at the beach. You can see hundreds of such setups at beaches not only up and down the Florida coast, but pretty much anyplace there’s sand and surf. and maybe even a few where it’s just the sand. No matter where you find sunshine and water, you’ll find beach chairs, towels, and coolers.

I love shooting scenes like this one. There’s a simplicity to them, and it’s certainly not perfect or staged. It’s just what life is at the beach. Empty chairs because the occupants are out enjoying the sun.

flip flops

Another ubiquitous beach icon is flip flops. I can’t tell you how many pairs of these simple shoes I own. I got married on the beach in flip flops. Nice, leather “formal” flip flops, mind you, but flip flops none the less. The good news is, there are very few places at the beach you can’t go wearing flip flops. Most restaurants don’t look twice if you come in mostly barefoot. It does give one incentive to keep one’s toenails clean and trimmed. Nothing like the benefits of a nice pedicure, but that’s definitely another post. Just suffice it to say that I do enjoy a pedicure.

I can’t show you the school of brown rays that were cruising the surf as we played in the waves. I didn’t have the correct camera, and the vis was pretty awful in the surf. But they look like brown paper bags floating just under the surface, until they come a little closer and you can see the white underside of their wings. I stepped on one, very much by accident, and Jenni was a little startled when she saw one coming right at her. But they’re very docile fish, really, and it was very cool to see them just a few yards off shore.


But perhaps the most iconic symbol of the beach is the lifeguard stand, often containing a lifeguard. The yellow flag flying meant there was a moderate risk of rip currents, and I had to coax a couple of youngsters out of a mild runout yesterday afternoon. A runout forms when an underwater feature allows water to rush out to sea as waves are coming in. They’re pretty easy to spot, as the water carries a lot of sand and the color is distinctive.

In any event, these two kids, not more than 6 or 7, were being pulled slowly but steadily out to sea. I was watching them struggle, trying to swim back to where their mom was calling them, and making no progress against the current. Jenni and I were standing in very calm water just a few feet from where the brown water was churning out towards the ocean. In any event, I told the kids to swim towards me, parallel to the shore, until they were in our calmer water. One was pretty open to the idea, but the other, who had a boogie board, thought he was going to swim right back to shore. He finally got the idea and we got him back to shore.

So that was it. Just another day at the beach. Interesting pictures, sea life, and kids. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with Jen this time around, though working from home gave me some flexibility I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and Aero News was very flexible with me. But I’m thinking that with this new found flexibility, I might just have a few more opportunities to enjoy the thing that drew me here to live in the first place.

Mother, mother ocean … I have heard you call …





Filed under Beach, Beach Living, Ocean, Photographs, Photography, Photos, Thoughts

2 responses to “Beach Still Life

  1. Anita Stephens

    This was a wonderful article on beach life. The pictures were great. I have lived near the beach for several years and have been away for over 10 years. Your description is soooooo accurate. Thanks. Anita

  2. This makes me miss my days at New Smyrna…nice shot of the life guard stand.

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