Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Least Memorable

I don't remember the place
or the moment
or the reason
I don't remember this place
at all

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ocean Part II

Many years ago, somewhere way off the coast of northern California, a sizable earthquake occurred. At the time "officials" predicted that this would result in tsunami crashing into the coast of San Francisco. On the day of the tsunami's expected arrival, a reported two-thousand people waited on the beach to witness the event. I remember thinking "only in San Francisco." The wave never came.

I think about this everytime I pass along the coast and see people standing and staring out at the ocean, at seemingly nothing. Sometimes there are surfers sitting on boards staring back, but most of the time it's just people staring out at the undulating ocean.

I stopped once, because I was curious. So many people lined the shore near a road-side parking lot, in groups, and alone. I thought something must be happening. When I came up behind them and looked past, I expected to see something, a dead beached whale, an accident, an argument, but I saw nothing but the beach, the surf, the ocean. I looked around at the faces of the people gathered, and saw them expressionless, and gazing far out beyond the beach, beyond the surf. I was disappointed.

I looked back out at the horizon, still and straight and long, the water a mixture of blues and grays and white. The ocean heaved like a breathing chest, the waves washed ashore, an exhale from a deep sleep. Gulls floated past caught on drafts, their calls lifting away with them.

I watched nothing in particular, but everything all at once. A voice from behind me, over my shoulder, asked "what's going on?" "Not a thing" I answered, and turned and left.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I intended that the previous post "Poinsetta" would be the last one until after Christmas, but I could not, not post. I found this image while rooting about in my Photoshop folders. I took this with a Rolleiflex 2.8E. It was part of a test roll. I didn't and don't think it's anything special, but it seemed crazy and complex, despite being relatively simple—just a shot of a couple of cages, but the shadows and lines, crosshatching and busy seemed oppressive and ugly. Cages can be havens or prisons.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I've no idea why I shoot the images I do.
What complusion pushed the shutter?
The mystery remains.
But some logic links them somewhere.
Three images from two rolls.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Central Valley Memories

Somewhere along Interstate 5 (I5), or was it I205, on a road trip to Disneyland, in the middle of last summer, we stopped at this gas station to fill up. The central valley of California is an interesting place. For most like myself, the big valley, is a completly different world from the coastal regions of the state. It's a changing place as home prices along the coast push buyers further, and further away, to the east, to the valley. In the valley, some of the most fertile farmlands in the world are giving way to the seemingly endless crop of housing developments.

Most of the time, I rush through the valley on road trips south to the Los Angeles area. Those trips really are like bum-rushes, where I, like most others, make our way to I5, point the car south, exceed the speed limit, and endure the long, long ride. I5 runs north and south, in a straight line the length of the entire valley. There is seemingly very little to look at photographically speaking, but on this last trip, made with the kids, and stopping at practically every exit for restroom breaks, I was able to appreciate just what a beautiful place it is. There wasn't much time to roam around composing shots, the bum-rush was on, Disneyland or Bust! But the long ride gave me time to see its photographic potential.

Anyway, the image here intrigued me, the scale seemed off, compressed. I shot this as I pumped gas.I liked the result, the tones on the hills.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Transition

I found movement here, an old wall on the left and a new wall on the right, with something common where they meet. This was an absolutely gorgeous day, around 10 or 11 am, blue sky, cooling ocean breeze, bright light, and the sound of waves in the background.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Across the Street

Leica M4-P, CV Ultron 35/1.7, Kodak UC 400

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Close to the Coast

What is it about the ocean? It's like fire; people find themselves staring at it, entranced, entrapped, drawn closer, unwittingly called into it. It's a dance, a siren's song, beckoning. So much beauty and so much danger.

The riptides out past those breakers would pull you out to sea, so fast, so far, that you may never be found. The siren's clutches would have you.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Gray Days

All of California, all of the west coast, in fact, was drenched by a massive rainstorm the last couple of days. Today, here in northern California the sun is out, the temperature is rising and the sky is blue again, but a gray day has a place in our lives.