Hidden Treasure

The Moray coast is blessed with some of the most beautiful sandstone mix of rocks and stones that I have seen anywhere in Scotland and they are at their very best in Moray’s spectacular sea caves where the colours of the stones, algaes and staining seem to be on steroids. This edifice really caught my attention not just for the rich vein of colour but also the patterns revealed in the sand and stone where light spills through the mouth of the cave. Exposure times are often 30 seconds or more and graduated filters are often placed up side down to shape the spilt light appropriately.

Pentax 67II, 55-100 zoom, 0.6ND soft grad turned upside down, f/22 at 25 Seconds, Fuji velvia 50.

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Interesting shot. I like that I have no sense of scale here. I can imagine an intimate closeup or a vast seacave.

Ian, this is very nice. A very unique color palette going on here, and good use of the grad filter.

Something about the dark line near the left edge bugs me a bit. My eye keeps getting pulled over there. Maybe a crop to just inside that line?

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Ian: this is a lovely agglomeration of colors, shapes and textures. I really like your usage of the grad to even out the light. Richard

Ian, what an interesting color palette here, if it wasn’t for the cobble stones one would think this was from a desert region. The transition from sand ripples to cobble stones creates a lot of impact and visual interest in this image, I love that you devoted roughly equal space to ripples and cobbles. The repeating C-shape lines in the cave wall are very intriguing. But I have to agree with @Craig_Moreau that the line on the left edge of the image is a distraction, and i would favor cropping it away.

Ian, I like the intimacy of this. I can image the sounds in there are like an echo chamber. It looks like inverting the ND grad was a wise choice. Allowed some nice light on the vaulted ceiling. I tend to agree about the vertical crease feeling awkward at the left edge. On the other hand it’s seems a shame to crop, because I particularly like the proportions on the cave floor you have between pebbles, ripples and that extra bit of submerged part, all seem to balance well.


Wow, this is pretty wild! My first impression was that of the foot of some ancient creature (sandstone meeting the rock and sand). Love the details in the large view, including all the little snails/barnacle type things cling to the ceiling during low tide.

My suggestion would be to dodge the ULC. Perhaps by lightening that area a bit could mitigate the dark line that others have suggested cropping. A crop would reduce the amount of sand, which wouldn’t be much, but I think would not be an improvement. Maybe lightening would help. The darker URC is seemingly appropriate as one would think getting deeper in to the cave.

Great find, wonderfully captured.


I also find this very very intriguing, Ian. I really like the lines here (especially on the wall) and the color palette is astonishing. I would have never imagined to see this many colors on a beach. I like the 50-50 split between the interesting wave on the sand and the cobblestones. Apart from the vertical line on the right edge, I think making the tonality symmetrical left-to-right would make the image even more abstract and more appealing to me.

I like this a lot Ian. The color textures and light are wonderful. The dark line on the right does not bother me but agree with Lon’s suggestion.