Photography in the Central California Coastal Zone

 

I have been involved in photographic interests for most of my life. My recent efforts have been concentrated on a small length of the Central California Coast, from W.R. Hearst State Beach in San Simeon to Montana de Oro State Park in Los Osos. 

I have been privileged to experience the moods of the Central California Coast during its many seasonal changes. There is the drama of winter storms, serenity of summer evenings and the many moods of the sea and sky during magical times of the day and night. Severe weather on the West Coast of North America often begins in the Alaskan Gulf and travels rapidly southward, bringing heavy surf, storm surge, high winds, torrential rain and severe beach erosion. The rain sweeps fallen trees and branches down from the coastal mountains and into the storm surge, and these eventually become the driftwood that journeys for years, from one beach to the next, drawn along with each new storm and tidal surge.   

Nature makes it a unique bout for existence in this region, but life survives, endures and prevails. Survival is not just the grand battle, but also the minute details of the daily struggle.  These are things we seem to miss in our casual walks on the beach. We walk past the driftwood and don't see the beautiful patterns in the grains of wood, deftly scoured by the unrelenting abuse of angry coastal storms and weather. We miss the color and patterns of tree bark. We sleep while the fury of the storms heaves detritus upon the shore and steals away the beach into the night.  There are also quiet moments, between the maelstroms, when the light is simply magical and the mood serene--morning light and early evening light in the short days of coastal winter.

The Navajo say we walk in beauty, it is all around us. Perhaps the images presented here will influence the viewer to see and appreciate our beautiful California Coast more clearly and hopefully make a small individual effort to preserve it for others who come after us.

Everyone sees the world differently. The collections of photographs on this website are my interpretations of the forty miles of this unique meeting of sea and land.