Monday, March 15, 2010

High Surf at Point Lobos

images from Point Lobos, CA, February 2010

Point Lobos! I saw it with different eyes yesterday than those of nearly fifteen years ago. And I worked, how I worked! And I have results! And I shall go again—and again! I did not attempt the rocks, nor any general vista: I did do the cypress! Poor abused cypress,—photographed in all their picturesqueness by tourists, "pictorialists," etched, painted, and generally vilified by every self-labeled "artist." But no one has done them—to my knowledge—as I have, and will. Details, fragments of the trunk, the roots,—dazzling records, technically superb, intensely visioned.
—Edward Weston, The Daybooks of Edward Weston, II. California, entry from March 1929

One cannot make photographs at Point Lobos without thinking of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and the many other photographers who have worked there. It's an amazing place, as beautiful as you've seen in the classic photographs by the masters. Very few pictorial destinations live up to their reputations; this is one of those that do, along with the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, and a few others.

After the Robinson Jeffers Association annual conference, I spent another day in the Monterey area, at Point Lobos in the morning, then meeting up with a friend to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the afternoon, then a fine meal at Fishwife's in Seaside. It was a good day, a sunny and warm day, at the end of which I drove up the coast towards Half Moon Bay, where I spent the night. I also visited one of my favorite places, Pescadero State Park, the next day. The whole purpose of this roadtrip, other than the Jeffers conference, was to by on holiday, and make lots of photos. It's like being on a working vacation, but it's recharging and refreshing because you're doing work you love.

This morning at Point Lobos the surf was very high, from the storms that had been passing through the region. A clear blue sky in the morning, with dramatic seas. The Point was very crowded, as it was a holiday, so my photographic opportunities were somewhat constrained. This was my first visit to Point Lobos, but you can be assured that I will be visiting there again. Next time I pass through the area, I will most definitely spend a lot more time there.

There were a lot of other photographers out that day, engaged with the powerful surf. Some pros, a lot of families out visiting the ocean for the day. But it doesn't matter how many photos have been made at Point Lobos; it's an enchanting and beautiful place, and will provide beauty and splendor endlessly to all who come to visit. And no photographers ever make the same images, even standing side by side.

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