Last Night Those Stairs Were Underwater


Raleigh, United States

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  • Artwork Comments 6

Wall Art

Home Decor



Artist's Description

Maybe not completely, but the night before I took this was a full moon during lunar perigee – in other words, the highest tides of the year. Topsail Island, for all its beauty, is not much more than a sand bar that grew up big and strong. The elevation changes very little from the mean 21 feet above sea level going across the width of the island (which in some places is only a few hundred yards) and the only thing that really protects the island’s interior are the dunes like you see here. (This is why there’s a $500 fine for crossing the dunes anywhere but on the wooden crosswalks you see.) If you look at the center span of the crosswalk at center frame, and straight down the supporting pillar, you can see where the high water mark from the night before is. And if you draw a horizontal line out from there, you can see that the last several steps down to what is sand now led directly into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean 12 hours or so earlier. Here on this part of the island where the strand is relatively wide, the waves run out of energy before they can make the truly impressive cuts in the dunes. But at the island’s northern tip where the New River enters the ocean, the cuts were over my head (I’m an even six feet tall; just a bit under two meters for you metric types).

Location: North Topsail Beach, NC, USA
Camera: Canon EOS 30D
Lens: EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Shutter: 1/320s
Aperture: F6.3
Metering Mode: Evaluative
EV: -1/3
ISO: 100

  • Featured in A Place To Start 1.13.2011

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black and white beach ocean pier

Artwork Comments

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