A stretch at dawn, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
Mission Beach is built on a sandbar between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, part of the city of San Diego. Its main street is really the vast beach itself, -- two miles of oceanfront, lined by a board walk and beach houses. The community, started by a developer in the 1920s, has now become the most densely developed residential community in the city. Close by is SeaWorld on Mission Bay and the historic Belmont amusement park, making the area a focal point of San Diego tourism. Yet moments of absolute silence on Mission Beach are always present early in the morning. This man looks into infinity as he stands inches from the sea and stretches a salute to the dawn.
Foggy Run, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
Weather at the sea shore is unpredictable. At Mission Beach, summer days can often start shrouded in fog, which generally clears before noon. On one morning walk, I could barely see people a block away as they walked, ran, and cycled on the foggy boardwalk. Fog is an abstracting medium. To make this image, I waited for a runner to hit middle distance before I shot. The closest person to her, less than a block behind, is nearly invisible.
Alone, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
I use scale incongruity to stress the relative privacy available to sun bathers on Mission Beach, even on a late afternoon of a summer day. I used a normal 50mm focal length here so as not to distort the spatial relationship between man and beach. The strip of houses lining the famous beach can be seen at left.
Covered, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
It was mid-afternoon, and the temperature was in the mid-70s, as it is most of the time during a San Diego summer. Yet this beach-goer incongruously challenges the sun with clothing, towels and a large red umbrella. I liked the colors they scream for attention, yet he pays no heed.
Volleyball, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
Volleyball courts line this beach there is always a series of games unfolding. I stress the difficult traction by emphasizing the texture of the sand, and caught the games tension by freezing poised figures watching a ball suspended above them at the peak of its flight. The evening light brings out the red border of the net that defines the limits of the game itself.
To the waters edge, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
Racing each other to the surging sea, three children dressed in vivid colors begin their day on the beach. The image is all about anticipation and energy, just what a day at the beach should entail. By shooting them from behind, I leave their delighted appearance to the viewer's imagination.
To each his own, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
The beauty of beaches is the variety of activity they offer. In this single image, a surfer drifts off shore, a man seems lost in his thoughts, two women read while taking the sun, and the man relaxing in the middle of it seems to be taking it all in.
Obstacle race, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
I made this image with a 420mm telephoto lens from the upper deck of house overlooking Mission Beach. It a scene of chaos as racers participate in the inaugural running of the Sand Pit 5K obstacle race. Over a thousand racers competed in the grueling event, which included overcoming at least eight beach and sand obstacles. Sponsored by the Mission Valley YMCA, the race drew competitors of all ages and genders. In this scene, nearly 50 people are winding their way between the sea and the sand, passing through three flags that mark the route. Everything seems to revolve around the woman in the blue top, who seems to be taking it all in stride.
Beach Town, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
We pass from the pleasures of the sea and the sand to streets of the town itself Mission Boulevard runs the length of the community, and lends the neighborhood its character as well as catering to shopping, dining, and entertainment needs. I caught these visitors as they walked the boulevard, passing before a mural of paradise that seems to have been carved out the side of a surfing store, which in turn has replaced a meat store. I layered the image with a yellow recreational vehicle in the left foreground, placed the men in the middle ground, and used the buildings as background.
California Style, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
Beachwear billboards echo the local lifestyle as they beckon to shoppers along Mission Boulevard. I layer the image with the bark and branches of a Eucalyptus tree, shadowing the billboard, and adding a sense of place to the image.
Waiting, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
The pace of a beach town is generally languid. Few seem to be in a hurry here. Time does not seem to matter as much. This image speaks of such a relaxed pace.
The balcony, Mission Beach, San Diego, California, 2010
A resident takes in the view from his balcony an alley jammed with parked cars, and a tangle of utility wires. If he should turn around, he would overlook the calm waters of Mission Bay just behind him.