I love high tides, especially in the evening, when I deeply feel the power of the raising waves shrouded in arcane veils of moon- or starlight – I can almost physically sense the moon’s gravity acting on the sea and leading its wavy assault against the shoreline. However I have recently come to love low tides as well, when the receding waters uncover a hidden in-between world full of stories from the deep sea.
It was low tide that morning, and the sunrise proper had been a dull one – so I walked some 10 km without even setting my tripod (and some 24 km before going back to my still sleeping family). A little before reaching the very tip of Caleri point I took following a trail snaking through the dunes and the Mediterranean scrub. Then I spent some time on the western side of the peninsula, losing myself in the magic world of the lagoon as the sun, unseen, was starting to climb his way in the sky.
When I went back to the eastward side of Caleri point facing the open sea, an amazing view unfolded before me – the show was beginning just then – and the beach was covered with many green seaweeds left behind by the high tide. As I was admiring that strange scene my mind started weaving ideas together almost against my will.
Whole lots of aeons ago algae ruled the world *. They produced a lot of oxygen as a waste product of photosynthesis, and eventually this reshaped the entire environment of our beautiful planet – and most living beings had to adapt to that beautiful and hazardous new component of the atmosphere, or escape it. Without the energetic advantages offered by aerobic respiration we could not have had a single chance of existing as human beings, and life on Earth would have been simply a matter of single cells – no prospects of multicellularity at all. You can now at least try to understand the train of thoughts flashing through my mind when I saw this scene, and why I felt I was witnessing the twilight of ancient gods.
I have obtained this picture by blending an exposure bracketing [-1.7/0/+1.7 EV] by luminosity masks in the Gimp (EXIF data, as usual, refer to the "normal exposure" shot), then I added some final touches with Nik Color Efex Pro 4.
* Well, I hope that you will concede me a bit of a poetic license here… They were not seaweeds, but unicellular algae – and, to be fair, even them acquired the wonders of photosynthesis from cyanobacterial endosymbionts. This is a rather more accurate statement of the matter, but ideas sometimes link and associate in our minds in strange ways – sometimes misleading, sometimes highlighting new possibilities – so let me follow those loose threads and do not dismiss me for this 🙂
Tagged: , Italy , Italia , Rosolina Mare , Veneto , Adriatico , mare Adriatico , Adriatic sea , ripples , sky , cielo , sea , low tide , tide , marea , mare , bassa marea , Mediterranean scrub , macchia mediterranea , alghe , seaweeds , oxygen , ossigeno , cyanobacteria , photosynthesis , fotosintesi , respirazione aerobica , aerobic respiration , sabbia , sand , beach , spiaggia , stranded , light , luce , backlight , controluce , dune , dunes , nuvole , clouds , cloudscape , seascape , coast , coastal shot , marine view , life on Earth , life , vita , vita sulla Terra , sun , sole , sunburst , silence , silenzio , peace , early morning , mattino , aurora , sunrise , dawn , daybreak , Nikon , D5100 , Samyang , the Gimp , luminosity masks , Samyang 14 mm , Nik software , Nik collection , Color Efex Pro 4 , bracketing , exposure bracketing , twilight , crepuscolo , evolution