Don – San Onofre


Untitled (Don, San Onofre Beach, CA April 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

This is another from my beach portrait series. To be honest, my first version of this image is provided below. I think I was interested in the graphic repetition of the waves, partly as a design element as well as exploring a concept of time; that the waves are relentless and continue to come ashore unabated. Upon reflection, including the actual beach at the base of this image also acts like an anchor, literally grounding the person in the photograph. From a photographic point of view, the small breaking surf and amount of white in the foreground draws the viewer’s eyes away from the figure, creating a bit of tension.

Subsequently I note the slight drop of Don’s head provides a little more somber tone to this image and I began to question the inclusion of the beach and shore break in the image. So for the second version, above, I removed both the beach and shore break from the image. What a difference in how I respond to the resulting photograph. The lone person standing in the sea appears even more isolated and the image looks more ambiguous and poetic. Much more in keeping of what I remember and want to convey.



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