Two Years in the Making

There are times while out photographing when something catches your eye and just pulls you in. At that time, you can’t really explain what it is that catches your attention. But you stay and shoot, and shoot, and shoot. You’re in the zone and you just go with it.

About two years ago, I had just such an experience. My wife and I were visiting the California coast in San Mateo county, south of San Francisco but north of Santa Cruz. We stopped at one of the beaches and just started wandering around. She was looking for interesting stones and shells while I was just looking. What I saw were what I called Tidal Sculptures. As the tide was receding, the water was seeping out of the sand. On this particular beach, there was two types of sand, a lighter tan sand and a heavier black sand. As the water would seep, it would slowly carry the tan sand away and leave these abstract black trails.

It was mesmerizing! Every where you looked on the beach, there were these shapes that had been forming over the hour and were continuing to change. There I was, wandering between them snapping away…click through on any of the photos to view the entire Tidal Sculptures portfolio. (And as a reminder, prints from the entire portfolio are available in various sizes from my website. These abstract pieces will make great wall art, especially considering you get to choose which way is up!)

Then they sat on my computer for two years nagging at me. I tried working with them a few times but just wasn’t happy with the results. Finally, over the past two days I finished them. I had a few long flights to and from Omaha, Nebraska over the past few days and was delayed a few hours last night in Omaha on my way home. (check out some photos from the storms they had last night…don’t let a little rain, or wind, stop you from taking the camera out. After a storm is some of the most interesting times to photograph…just wait for the tornado’s to pass.)

All that travel time gave me a chance to finish up these images. I finally got them in a state that feels right. Sometimes, photos just need some time to marinade…

4 Replies to “Two Years in the Making”

  1. Greg,
    awesome photos. I wish I could see them printed. Are you planning on exhibit them somewhere? I don’t think the web will make any justice to the subtlety these images seem to have.
    Great images and very good choice in presenting them in black and white!


  2. Thanks Rafa! I am definitely planning on printing these out in the near future. It has been a few years since my last exhibit, so I might look into that as well.

    I tried developing these in Black and White and didn’t like the effect…I felt you lost the sense of it being sand. So these images actually have a slight sepia/tea tone to them…


  3. Greg – this is a superb collection. I am attracted by this stuff myself, even shot some similar. But I think you did a much better job.

    The light sepia toning here works perfectly.

    This is really a collection to be proud of – 2 years later or not.


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