The Lightyears Photography logo links to return to the homepage


The Home link to return to the homepage The About page link to view the Biography, Awards, Publications and Events The Galleries pages link to view the world region landscapes, starscapes, geoart, movies, favorites and new images The Blog pages link to view the news and updates, geoscience, tutorials, gear and tours The Shop pages link to buy books and fine art prints The Contact pages link to get into contact with Christian Klepp The German language selector link The English language selector link

Connect with Instagram link Connect with Facebook link Connect with 500px link Connect with Flickr link

Link to the Galleries for the World Regions Link to the Gallery for Nighttime Landscapes under the Milky Way and the stars Link to the Gallery for Geoart of landscape details, rock formations, structures and forms Link to the Gallery for Movies and Time-Lapse-Video Link to the Gallery of my personal favorite images Link to the Gallery of new and latest released images

Starfish at Motukiekie Beach at low tide in New Zealand at sunset

Starfish colonies on the dangerous low tide coastline of Motukiekie Beach with sea stacks at sunset on New Zealand’s west coast


Large starfish colonies populate the rock platform of Motukiekie Beach near Greymouth on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
The rugged and picturesque coastline offers unprecedented views of sea stacks and cliffs intersected by flat sandy beaches. These sea stacks are located below a 330 ft (100 m) vertical cliff. At high tide the waves reach up to the wind-crooked trees growing on top of the rock spires and crash upon the vertical cliff with impressive sounds. The tidal hub is about 11.5 ft (3.5 m) allowing access to this rocky platform only for a short time period during low tide that has to coincide with dusk and dawn to get the perfect low light conditions.
Even at low tide a few waves of the swell out at sea are high enough to completely flood the rock platform with water levels rising waist-deep. The channels between the rock platform almost fall dry in between the waves. Hence the long exposure allows capturing the sequence of a high wave resulting in a ghostly appearance of the water rushing through the channels and finally flooding the platform.
The area is inhabited by bright-orange starfish up to 14 inches (35 cm) in diameter, called Stichaster australis, which feed on the abundant horse mussels. It is remarkable that the rocks are of the same age as the class Asteroidea to which the starfish belongs. When the rock, called greywacke, was deposited as muddy sediment on a deep ocean seabed in the Ordovician age about 490 million years ago it was also the time when the first starfish evolved from a group of animals called Echinodermata to which also sea lilies and sea urchins belong. Though Stichaster australis is a modern form it truly belongs to the living fossils being successful inhabiting Earth since 490 million years.

April 2013
Canon 5D MkII, Canon EF-L 16-35 mm, f/16, 6 sec, ISO 100, Lee grey neutral density filter, tripod

Slide control button to go to previous image Slide control button to go one level up to the image gallery Slide control button to return to the main landscapes galleries Slide control button to go to next image

Copyright © 2019 and Web Design Dr. Christian Klepp, Lightyears Photography

Footer Contact Link Footer Imprint Link Footer Data Privacy Link