Like many readers I would class myself as a hobbyist photographer who can only spare at maximum a few hours a month to get out and about with the camera. Until recently, this restriction was impacting my photography development as the self-imposed pressure to capture something on my rare outings resulted in me capturing pleasing, safe shots rather than trying to evolve my own personal style as a photographer. Two events changed that and helped me move away from shots just capturing the moment to shots with feeling which communicate a story to the viewer. They also have a real essence of me about them and I can see a clear transition to line, shape and colour dominating with texture, form and pattern appearing also common factors.
The first of these was a military driven move from the UK to California’s central coast. A new location and easy access to miles and miles of beach and coastline provided plenty of opportunity to relax while out with the camera knowing the location was just a few minutes drive from the house. This gave me a creative kick and I found myself being prepared to take greater artistic chances knowing there was always a next time. While for many a relocation is probably a step too far even for photographic ecstasy the second factor is much more achievable; find someone new to photography who has that burning desire to learn new skills and just be out and shooting anything.
For me these two factors aligned and having someone keen to get out, wherever the location and whatever the weather, got me out with the camera much more regularly than I had previously. This shot was captured on such a day. We had headed out to the Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes partly in hope of capturing a Pacific sunset but also to recce the area as a potential Milky Way location. With the latter in mind the thick marine layer didn’t overly bother us but we decided to head to the waterfront anyway to see we could capture. My colleagues enthusiasm for the crashing waves rubbed off and I looked around for some foreground interest hoping for a colourful starfish or such like. Unfortunately this seaweed was the only thing available but I liked how the colours matched the foreground and the overall muted feel of the day.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor