I took this about five years ago on one of my visits back to where I grew up. But as they say, home is where the heart is.
Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d end up in Florida. But here I am, and the longer I’m out here, the more I need to go back to the Pacific for little trips to recharge. Maybe I miss the mountains and evergreens which we don’t have in the sunshine state.
In one sense, the scene of children on the beach is timeless, it could have been taken a hundred years ago. However, the landscape might have changed quite a bit.
Mechanically speaking, beaches are the act of erosion. The beach here probably looked quite different a hundred years ago. Because changes happen slowly, we don’t notice much of it. But take a picture of anything year after year, and we begin to see changes.
With technology, and from this point forward, we are recording the transformation of our landscapes accurately. Assuming we’re around in a couple thousand years, we should have a high-resolution time-lapse recording of all the changes. That should be pretty awesome to watch because it will show the changes that span a human lifetime in just a few seconds. Then, maybe, we will have an appreciation for just how dynamic the changes on our planet really are.
Whenever I leave San Francisco, I take a redeye home. That gives me time before the flight to head over to Point Lobos for a California sunset.
I’ll take luck where I can get it, and I’ve been fortunate in this area. There’s a lot of scenery around here, so it’s not that hard to get good photos. Even if it’s foggy, there’s a lot of cool stuff to see. I love taking pictures in the fog. In Florida, we only get it briefly a couple of times a year. As I write this, I’m putting San Francisco fog photos on my list.
Speaking of lists, I’m not actually a list person. Maybe I should be, it might be useful. I do make a list when I’m told to go get groceries. That’s so I don’t screw up and forget something critical, like goat milk. But when I go to the store on my own, I don’t use a list. If I screw up then and forget something, nobody ever knows. Life is easy under the radar.
This is Ocean Beach from Point Lobos in San Francisco. My wife and I were having dinner at the Cliff House restaurant when the colors started changing and, as usual, I had to excuse myself from the table. There’s no getting around the fact that the spouse of a photographer is long-suffering.
It’s interesting how the people on the beach are evenly distributed. Have you ever notice how crowds of people seem to mimic fluid dynamics? Here they’re evenly dispersed like little water molecules on the sand. You can see this phenomenon when you view crowds from a distance. At a certain level, people follow the laws of physics. We observe the same behavior in traffic patterns which is then used to model highways and ramps.
In a previous post and similar picture from this beach, I compared the grains of sand to stars in the universe. It seems that whenever I look at this scene I’m reminded of the order of things, and how that order repeats regardless of the scale. Food for thought from someone who can’t sit long enough to eat.
I took this from the baths at Point Lobos in San Francisco. There were so many things to take pictures of that day, it was a lot of fun. As I write this I’m on a flight to the west coast again. I’m doing the West coast thing. I’m leaving the West coast of Florida to the West coast of Canada. Then I’ll travel to the West coast of the United States. I think whomever said go west young man, must have had me in mind.
Growing up in California I was steeped in west coast sensibilities. New age, new thought, new ways of doing things. Of course I didn’t know any of this until I moved away and got a little perspective, I just took it all for granted. That sensibility is in my blood. I’m not particularly concerned with which west coast, just as long as it a coast and the sun sets that way. If the earth spun in the other direction then maybe I’d be an east coast guy. I’m fortunate because in Florida I can watch the sunrise over the Atlantic on the East Coast and then drive to the West coast and watch it set over the gulf.
It’s not just me; most people are like this. We are attracted to the arc of the sun. That’s a geeky way of saying we are attracted to light and it’s our natural tendency to follow it. If you look at a picture or painting our eyes go to the brightest areas. It’s something primal, or spiritual, or both. If nothing else, its something to think about, perhaps we can figure out the whys and wherefores another day.
There is a moment, just as the sun disappears behind the sea, that you can get a flash of light across the water. This was taken at that moment. Even though it lasts no more than a second I don’t advise looking at the sun to see it. However since I started shooting with a Sony camera I’ve seen it several times. That’s because I can look though the electronic viewfinder and my eyes are protected from the harmful brilliance of the sun.
Even rarer is something known as the “green” flash, at least that’s what I call it. Anyway, under certain circumstances and at the exact second the sun disappears, you may see a greenish-blue flash. I did not see it this day but I have seen it once in Florida. I was watching the sun set over the water and a gentleman came up to me and asked me if I’d ever seen it before. I responded that I’d never even heard of it. He said it was somewhat rare yet he watches for it everyday. A few seconds later it happened and we both looked at each other in amazement.
Anyway, back in San Francisco where I took this, I was at the bottom of a set of cliffs at Point Lobos State Park. By the time I climbed back up and walked back to the parking lot it was after dark, but it seems a lot of people linger here late. A scene like this is hard to leave, and besides I didn’t want to miss the last flash.
I did a ton of these photos during sunset at Mile Rock Beach while in San Francisco. When I find myself in the right spot at the right time I go a little shutter crazy and end up taking dozens of photos. I’m going to reserve judgement and just say that’s a good thing.
The Pacific coast is lined with these big rocks just off shore. I imagine that back in the old days there were shipwrecks during storms and now are historical sights to dive and explore. The two furthest rocks here are Lobos Rock on the left and Blackhead Rock just right of center. They must be well known to mariners.
I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with the past. When I look at photos of a scene my brain looks for context, we all do that. So with a scene like this, or something completely different like the street scene from Barcelona I posted the other day, I take a step back in four dimensions. By that I just mean just naturally tent to view a scene or subject from a context outside the current moment. I’m not sure why I do that, maybe everyone does it and it’s not unusual. I wonder if there is a name for that? Good, bad or indifferent it does open up a whole new world of perspectives, especially in my photography.