Photos I come back to: “Exit to Pacific”

What does it matter if a photo is made carefully or of it is made haphazardly among thousands of throw away photos but selected by a very careful editing process? If the picture is effective it doesn’t matter how it’s made, I think. And in the end, this is a photo that reminds me of how precariously we live on the edge of eternity, how uncertain is the ocean, how uncertain we are of physical nature and how our bodies are vulnerable in it.

I took this photo in Malibu the day before my 30th birthday, the only time in my life I ever spent driving around Southern California aimlessly in a convertible while taking pictures from a stationary camera that I triggered remotely with the hand that wasn’t on the wheel. I took 15,000 photos that week and this is among my favorites and probably the one that has the most impact for me. 

Although I was driving and shooting only half aware this is the single shot from of this scene, a 1/1250 of a second slice has motion blur that is accentuated by a foreground that barely makes it to the depth of field. Being shot at f/14 really holds the photo together and saves it from falling into the water as it would have. 

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