24 October 2016
Taken with Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, iColorama and Pixlr
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I stood observing a scene that had characteristics of early landscape paintings with its classic style and purity of subject. It’s late morning spring 2016 and the sky turned from ominous to lightly cheerful at Ocean Beach, California. Although a teenager is obvious from my vantage point, he still seems invisible: head covered, face not available for my gaze, and partially hidden (from the opposite side) by the dunes. He’s reading and seemingly unaware of his surroundings. One of few on the beach he blends with a sort of pastoral grace.
But the man standing on the dunes at the top of the frame and almost spying from above echoes my interpretation. He stares at the ocean below, listens to the sounds of the waves in the distance, watches other beach visitors scattered below.
All the while the sands of time reflect countless cloud-filled days. And stones salt-and- peppered everywhere are as though they prompt ideas, one by one. In this place and time there’s a dance between the human condition and Mother Nature’s repose. I extrapolate that the man is trying to connect to all that is before him.
My view melts into the quiet and quietly calm scene before me. There are small numbers of others meandering the beach, mostly heading in the other direction toward the heavy fog.
Nature is strong and fragile, mystical and real, renewable and dying, omnipresent and missing. It’s a scene that needed a brighter palette of hope. Thus I added another part of nature’s bounty to the layer upon the layer in the distance and the tide moving inward, the solemn sky boasting in silence.
Nature is always on the move. The ocean, the shoreline, the waves, the wreck line are places that recall the past in the present. I sense others who have had similar views of this ever-changing landscape.
This combination of nature and human nature cruising before me reminds me that this moment masks a portion of reality. To be sure the coasts of my country are on a course of monumental alteration, and those changes will have lasting effects on human and natural habitats.
My photomontage was born from that grey morning, knowing that the sun would burn through the day and reveal a glorious light to brighten thoughts and move through this stretch of California coastline. Without doubt the beach and the ocean are primeval sanctuaries. They conjure birth, death and revitalization. They’re also places of contemplation where the future has enduring possibilities.
Tip of the Week:
Recently, I discovered the work of Spanish paper artist Malena Valcárcel. She rescues old books that have been thrown away or used, and then recycles them to make works of sculpture and jewelry. Her 3-D constructions are beautifully executed and bring new life to old printed materials. Used paper becomes a fantasy land with her imagination and skillful techniques. View her work here. Please enjoy this talented book artist’s creations.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
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If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.