'Homescreen' is my blog, where my photography and writing come together in articles about interesting things.

The Sea, Part 2



‘Homescreen’ is the blog of writer and photographer Tom Jeffery so there’s going to be words and pictures.



Welcome to this edition of the ‘Homescreen’ blog. This is the second part of ‘The Sea.’ (If you missed it you can find the first part here). We’ll continue to explore our connections to the sea and I’ll express my own love for it with some of the seascapes that I’ve made. I’ve made some hard decisions as I looked through my portfolio but even so there are so many photos and thoughts that I want to share with you that ‘The Sea’ edition of Homescreen just had to be in two parts.



'Outflow'_Kariega River Mouth, Kenton-on-Sea


Before we get into it, here's an offer available only to Homescreen readers.


You get a 15% discount on prints of any of the photos in this edition!


Email tom@tomjeffery.co.za or contact me with the subject line 'Homescreen Prints' to qualify. Prices are listed at the end of the blog.



As I mentioned last time, a swift Googling suggests that at least half and probably more of the human population of the Earth live within 100 kilometres of the sea, so that’s most of us. We seem to share a universal love for the oceans and I can understand why. They are beautiful and inspiring in all their many moods and I think we know, somewhere deep within our lizard brains, that this is where we all originally come from. We are creatures of the sea and we are drawn to it. I know I am, and ever since I started taking photographs the sea has been one of my favourite subjects.



The reason I most love photography is that it allows us to see the world in new ways. A long exposure can turn even heavy seas into a gentle mist or capture the ebb and flow of the sea’s motion in streaks and splashes of blues, greens and whites. While the shutter is open the camera gathers up the seconds and the motion of the water and synthesises them into an image. The camera allows us to see these expanded moments and to use them to create art with space-time. No other device I can think of is able to do this (anybody?), and the next edition of ‘Homescreen’ is going to be all about this unique ability. Many of the photographs you’ll see in this edition of Homescreen are long exposures, each made of various amounts of space-time that I’ve captured with my camera and interpreted in the development process.





Do you ever wonder why we love this strange place where we can neither breathe nor stay warm? Is it because of its motion, the way that its rhythm can turn ripples into liquid mountains? Is it because it feeds us or because we can float across it to new and exciting places? Or is it because so many of us love a good horror story and the sea is mysterious and often frightening with its dark, cold depths, its ghost-filled mists and its creatures that look like aliens? Or is it just because it’s beautiful and being near it or in it feeds our souls? Probably all of these things and many others I haven’t thought of.






Articles about how to shoot seascapes usually advise to use as wide a lens as possible, usually from about 10mm to 18mm, in order to capture as expansive a view as possible. Recently I’ve started to use a longer lens, my favourite 90mm, to make more closely framed photographs of interesting rock formations with water flowing around them in the intertidal zone. The contrast between the solidity of the rocks and the flow of the water is, for me, the heart of the coastline’s character. What is it that draws you to the sea?








The coast is a meeting of sea and land, a marginal place of potential and change. The sea eats away at rocks that seem so permanent to us and moulds the coast over aeons that are no more than a moment in geological time. Sometimes the transformation is more spectacular as undercut cliffs collapse or a tsunami overwhelms the land. Perhaps the most obvious change is the patterns in the sand that are different after every tide, while sometimes the beach is stripped away entirely with one high water and returned once more the next.





Photography is my escape and my meditation. When I’m taking photos I forget about all the crap we have to deal with on a daily basis. However, I can’t work as a landscape artist without being conscious of the devastation of the natural world by governments and corporations. They’re busy cocking up the Earth with their short term focus on profits for a very few people instead of a long term focus on making sure the Earth continues to support life, which is what all living things actually need, even fossil fuel companies and their pet ministers of mineral resources and energy.



I’m not going to preach any more. I’m trying to do the right thing, but I’m no saint and life is hard and full of temptations. All each of us can do is try. We can all make a difference in our own ways, no matter how small our contributions may seem. My photos and writing are my contribution and I hope they help people feel closer to the Earth and to want to keep it safe.



‘Do or do not. There is no try,’ said Master Yoda but he was in a swamp with one other dude trying to pull a starfighter out of the mud which is actually a lot easier than 8 billion of us trying to fix the plastic pollution crisis while our ‘leaders’ actively perpetuate it. Anyway, without trying there is no doing so don’t listen to Yoda even if he does have cute, fuzzy ears, big eyes and a lot of followers.






Right, I’m off to the beach. If you’ve enjoyed this Homescreen please drop by my website where you’ll find more of my writing and photography, and for regular updates follow my social media channels @tomjefferyhomescreen.


** 15% discount on prints! **


Get a 15 discount on prints of any of the photos in this edition of Homescreen! Order by email to tom@tomjeffery.co.za or contact me with subject line 'Homescreen Prints'. Prices are listed below.


I think one of my photographs would look really good above your couch. Don’t you?



Order by email to tom@tomjeffery.co.za with subject line 'Homescreen Prints' to get a 15% discount on the prices below.


  • A4 canvas on wooden frame | R600
  • A3 canvas on wooden frame | R800
  • A2 canvas on wooden frame | R1100
  • A4 framed print, standard commercial frame | R450
  • A3 framed print, standard commercial frame | R800
  • A2 framed print, standard commercial frame | R1400


These are standard sizes. Get in touch for a custom quote.


Coming soon


A camera allows us to create art with space-time. The next edition of Homescreen is going to explore what this means and how it happens.


About Tom Jeffery


I am a writer and photographer. I write humorous fiction as well as supernatural adventures. I try to write things that will make people laugh and think about the world in which we live, and feel excitement at the wonder and mystery of it all. Also maybe to scare people a little, because I’ve always loved a little horror. You can find my books on my website here and on Amazon, and previous editions of ‘Homescreen’ on my website here.


I make photographs of where I live, the city of Makhanda in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and the surrounding areas. I hope that through my photography I help people feel connected to the place in which we live. This connection is sometimes hard to maintain when we’re dealing with the frustrations of life and work in a city in which the infrastructure has failed through mismanagement, incompetence and an absence of political responsibility and accountability. Beauty remains despite these frustrations, and in beauty we can perhaps find a sense of peace. I find peace through making photographs, and I hope my work can help others find peace even if just for a moment.


You can browse galleries of my photos on my website here and order prints by getting in touch with me at tom@tomjeffery.co.za.


Follow me on Facebook and Instagram: @tomjefferyhomescreen.


‘Homescreen’ is my blog where my writing and photography come together in articles about interesting things. I hope you’re enjoying it, but either way, get in touch and share your thoughts.


See you next time! Until then, stay safe and be kind.