It is always an honor to witness and document the special moments that people will forever treasure, and when I was approached to provide clandestine photography of a surprise engagement at a beautiful coastal location, I could not resist the opportunity. Arrangements were made, secret updates and texts sent, and as the sun settled with golden light over the crashing waves and dramatic cliffs of Asilomar, Matt proposed to Elisha.
After the main event, we used the beautiful location for some easy-going portraits, capturing their natural joy and love; goofy moments and lots of laughter made this shoot a breeze and the resulting images are so much fun. Congratulations Matt & Elisha!
See more of my recent client work here, and contact me to plan your own surprise proposal photoshoot here!
On the sheltered beaches of Monterey, Carmel, and Point Lobos, one can catch a lovely glimpse into the lives of harbor seals. This time of year, the cute harbor seal pups are beginning to explore their watery homes, and their mothers keep a watchful eye as they swim through the swaying kelp forests and quiet coves. Some of the pups are particularly plump and round, and as they get brave enough to swim away from their mothers, there are moments of playful freedom in the surf. Once a pup realizes that they can no longer see their mother however, they will cry, short sad little calls that bring their mothers quickly to their side. The pups only have 3 to 4 weeks before they will be weaned, and witnessing this precious time that they have with their mothers is quite a special sight.
Recently I enjoyed a lovely walk through quaint Carmel, California. At the height of the summer tourist season, the streets are overflowing with visitors, and it can be difficult to find a peaceful moment between the busy shops and bustling restaurants. In the winter however, a sense of calm settles across our picturesque region, and Carmel-by-the-Sea is transformed into a serene, quiet village. After enjoying a taste of fine Monterey County wines, and discussing this winter’s strange, dry and sometimes hot weather with a long-time local vintner at his tasting room, I wandered past the window of a jewelery shop, where a man worked with tremendous focus and skill.
Locals gather in the warm light of a Carmel-by-the-Sea neighborhood market & deli
Dog-walkers enjoy the quiet streets
At a Carmel-by-the-Sea jewelry shop, a man works into the evening
On a cozy restaurant patio, wine glasses and blankets await dinner guests
Further on, locals gathered in the warm light of the neighborhood deli, while fresh fruit and flowers brightened the sidewalk outside. Our winters here are frequently mild, and though there was a slight chill in the air this evening, a recent spell of warm weather had coaxed some of the flowering trees into bloom, adding a little extra magic to the charming mood of winter in Carmel. This little corner of the world is a pleasurable destination any time of year, and I intend to explore this quiet side of Carmel-by-the-Sea more often.
Feels a bit like time is slipping through my fingers lately – having completely rebuilt my archives of 30,000+ images, I’ve admittedly needed a little break from the digital darkroom and the endless queue of shots still waiting to be processed. An escape to the edge of the world, where dunes and sand melt away into endless ocean waves might be in order…
This particular sort of mix of light and water could keep me occupied for an eternity – it seems to me to be a place where that which should be easily described achieves a rather intangible quality, and even a simple walk along a beach with the steady flow and motorized hum of four-wheeling traffic can become something more ethereal from the right angle. Our relationship to these places is frequently overshadowed by all of the ways we try to impose a usefulness upon the landscape, when really, just being present at that intersection of time and space is the more fulfilling experience.
Around the time one calendar year changes to the next, it is easy to become absorbed in reflecting on the recent past. In this case, 2011 flew by with alarming speed, and it is hard to believe that 2012 has already arrived. Rather than dwell on what has been, however, I am very excited by what is next. Many changes afoot for this blog and my photography – from new digital darkroom tricks to some incredible print collections and fine art offerings.
These two images, both shot on the same beach in Big Sur, are from a recent exploration of longer-exposure photography. Living on the coast affords me easy access to some spectacular coastlines awash in sunset colors and misty waves, and I hope to bring you more of these peaceful, scenic images in the coming months.
Having long believed that the journey is the destination, I’ve always been as much a fan of the act of traveling, as a I am a fan of actually arriving in a new place.
Last weekend was a marathon road-trip though, through a landscape altogether strange to me – Southern California – and I returned home with a mountain of images depicting an arid, hazy landscape dotted with bold and incongruous human developments. I am mesmerized by landscape photography in general, and many photographers have done an incredible job of cataloging the environments and horizons that shape our lives. In my own work, I am gradually exploring those familiar themes of human endeavor vs. an ever-changing geography. The landscapes of the American west, and California in particular, are close to my heart and I hope to further explore our relationship with the magnificent and daunting terrain here at the edge of a continent.
This weekend, I will be back on the road, this time to spend barely 36 hours in the high-mountain deserts of Southern California. Traveling from the soft hills and cool climate of the coast, across the vast Central Valley blanketed by orchards and agriculture, and then up to 4000 feet where the plants are all spiny and the rocks jagged, my camera will likely spend the entire trip in my lap, ready for any tantalizing cast of light across the passing landscape.
I have some very specific shots I’d like to attempt once I reach my destination, but even if they are complete failures, I’ll have immensely enjoyed the journey…