Waiting for the Perfect Wave – Co-Winner of the BeachLife category
I absolutely love the beach! I have friends who own a house in the Hamptons (NY) and I try to spend a few weeks out there every summer. I like to roam up and down the beach and just capture people enjoying the sun, sand, and surf or simply capture the natural beauty of the beach landscape — dune fences, ocean waves, etc. The Hamptons are perfect for me because the beaches aren’t crowded and I can single out a person or persons quite easily and make them a part of my composition without any other distracting elements.
This particular image is part of a series called, “Beach Memoirs.” A few months before I shot this image, I had taken a trip to Turks and Caicos and created a series called “Island Holiday.” For that, I used Hipstamatic with the same lens/film combo for every image. It was my first time working in a series as opposed to just shooting individual images, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to do that again but I also wanted a unique look, so I settled on using the app Classic Pan for all the images. I wanted to show the expansiveness of the beach and the people being tiny in comparison. It worked perfectly!
Mobile photography has definitely given me the opportunity to capture people in a way that just wouldn’t be possible by any other means. With my iPhone I am completely unobtrusive and non-threatening.
The natural environment in general — and the ocean in particular — is a powerful force. As humans we are so small and powerless in comparison to it. I’m interested in expressing this sense of vastness by keeping my subjects tiny in the scene… almost insignificant but a very important component nonetheless. In a more simplistic sense, I just want to show my love for the beach and the ocean. That’s why I strive to create such vibrant color. I want to attract the viewer and show them how beautiful it is.
I hardly ever photograph people I know. I think this would be a completely different picture had I known the subjects… I probably would have felt compelled to get closer so they would be recognizable! Photographing strangers and keeping them small in the frame the way I do makes them universal and perhaps allows the viewer to put him or herself in the scene.
My finished images rarely look the way something looked in real life… I manipulate the colors, textures, etc. to match my vision, and so on one level I’m sure I make images because I want to share my vision of the world with others. But what it really comes down to is that I make images simply because I enjoy the process… It’s fun! It makes me feel good! Making images is an inner compulsion, and I can’t imagine what kind of person I’d be if I didn’t heed to its call.
I am very careful to capture that decisive moment, sometimes holding my camera up to the subject for several minutes until they reach a certain spot or move a certain way before I press the shutter.
Mobile photography has definitely given me the opportunity to capture people in a way that just wouldn’t be possible by any other means. With my iPhone I am completely unobtrusive and non-threatening. I am more able to become a part of the landscape because no one pays any attention to someone taking a picture with their phone! I become invisible. Walking around with my DSLR would set up a completely different relationship between my subject and myself, and I don’t think I would be able to achieve the same results.
Photographing strangers and keeping them small in the frame the way I do makes them universal and perhaps allows the viewer to put him or herself in the scene.
When making an image, I am concerned with both a “moment in time” as well as conveying a feeling through color, light, etc. I am very careful to capture that decisive moment, sometimes holding my camera up to the subject for several minutes until they reach a certain spot or move a certain way before I press the shutter. But for me, that is never the end. I’m always visualizing what I will do to the image later through apping to bring out the color, the light, etc. to match my vision.