A Coastal State of Mind

I very seldom visit the beach.

It’s mainly because my pale Northern European complexion and the harsh Australian sun don’t get on. Akin to Vladimir Putin and Boy George being seated together at a dinner party I guess you could say.

I also don’t much like swimming full-stop. Much less dodging seaweed, jellyfish and other assorted flotsam lurking in the ocean. Oh and I don’t float. Honestly, it’s true. Mum back me up here. I sink faster than shares in Iron Ore-based commodity companies.

Not a fan of sand either. Get’s everywhere and ruins cameras.

I always tend to forget to apply sunscreen before I arrive at the beach so I end up applying the lotion onto my sand-swept skin which feels similar to rubbing ones body down with sandpaper.

Nope. The only surfing you’ll see me doing is on the Inter Webs.

All that said I do ‘get’ the appeal and on those rare occasions that I do visit the coast I always find my visits very special occasions.

There is a magic to Coastlines.

At least I think so.

There is something so cathartic about staring out to sea. It seems a vestige of Mother Nature that is still more powerful than us.


untitled-216.JPGFor me my scariest nightmares always centre around being lost out in a mighty ocean. Flung around at the will of an unseen power. Those dreams are always so scary because I have no control whatsoever once I am in that maelstrom of blue churning water.

But this is force and power that demands respect. I think that’s why I feel so wistful and grounded when I look upon the ocean. You are in the presence of greatness. I would react in a similar fashion were I to meet a hero or a revered mentor. I would show deference and humility. But I would also be very excited!

And so I was. Extremely excited to have finally made the two hour journey south east of Melbourne to beautiful Phillip Island. A place to surf, swim and laze on the beach none of which, as you may have guessed, were the reasons I was here. I was here to take photographs. I was here to contemplate.

Coastline contemplation.

I tend to have a real issue sitting still. Have done all my life and I see the same affliction in my daughter. In business I bore easily of routine and detail, in life I perpetually thirst for new challenges, heck, even in bed my legs twitch before I go to sleep. But the one place on earth that I can be still and just stare is on a coast.


Given the chance I could stare for hours. Concurrently observing everything and nothing all at the same time.

I’d timed my visit to coincide with sunset.

The late afternoon was also much more tolerable for my pasty white skin. It enabled me to explore and search for spots to return to later when that ‘Golden Hour’ light started to bathe the scenery.

Without doubt Golden Hour trumps Photoshop and every Instagram filter in existence. It is a wonderful time for a photographer. Albeit fleeting.

And so it was that my day morphed from exploration and contemplation into anticipation. I hoped that my day-at-the-beach would end with a beautiful sunset. Should it occur then this would be another gift of Mother Nature that I could not control.

And on this day and in this magical place she was kind to me.


A Coastal State of Mind. A Gallery. (Click an image to enlarge)

  • My submission into the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. State of Mind
  • All photography © Saxon Templeton

Travel is my passion and also my career. I’ve spent my entire working-life in the travel industry with roles as diverse as tour guide, travel agent and marketing manager for some of the worlds largest travel brands. My favourite city in the world to visit is NYC and France is my most beloved country to explore. I travel to learn and observe to understand always with camera in hand.

19 thoughts on “A Coastal State of Mind

  1. Completely agree that the power and pull of the ocean is bewitching. That said I’m also deathly afraid of being more than 20 feet into the ocean. Its power becomes very real. Nice take on the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos – beautiful place. I think your ambivalence towards the ocean may date back to the time your father let you fall off the jetty during a fishing trip when you were a toddler. And, no, you definitely don’t float!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. It was a great spot and an amazing sunset starting to happen. I had to return to the city otherwise I think I’d still be there 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

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