South of Long Beach WA is a little town called Seaview – more of a community really. Many of the houses date from the 1800’s and the whole place feels like what I imagine New England would feel like if transported to the west coast. I mean… I imagine because people have told me that, not because I’ve been to New England. Anyway, Seaview is a nice place to stare at the ocean, or attempt to drive into it.
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South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii is a wind-blasted expanse of farmlands, windfarms, and dirt giving way to cliffs and ocean. The southernmost point in the US, it was until recently one of two places on the island your rental car coverage wouldn’t allow you to go. The road is fine now – I’m not sure if the rules have changed. I have heard that the locals that fish from the cliffs may take some liberties with the possessions people leave in their cars when they hike to the beach, so we stayed close. Against the backdrop of wind and waves, there are a bunch of these creaky old boat hoists. I think the premise is that this is the shortest route from road to water, but you’d have to be pretty nuts to actually use one. I wouldn’t put it past some of the folks hanging out down there.
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Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach is my kind of place. I spent a lot of my formative pre-college days listening to the pounding waves against the cliffs and enjoying the distance from the hippies and crowds of OB proper. Usually out on the cliffs you have the company of a few joggers, a few more seagulls, and a lot of wind. It’s just a nice place to be.
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If you’re a property owner, however, I’d be a little more worried. The cliffs are always eroding, sometimes in a spectacular way, and I wouldn’t want my house right across the street. They put up these little fences around areas of particular danger, and I thought the sharp man-made lines just seemed so out of place in all the rounded nature around it. I like the lines in this picture, and it’s one of the few that makes me feel ok breaking the rule of thirds. Maybe even more than in this one. I think that because there is one man-made object in the whole frame, it makes sense to sort of hide it in plain sight. It lets nature stay balanced all around. I think it would have looked sort of funny anywhere else.
Oh yeah… one more thing I didn’t mention above. I threw a little vignette on this picture. I don’t use this a ton and when I do, it’s mostly for portraiture. I tried to keep it pretty subtle too, but I think it works well here for the same reason it does in portraiture – you’re bringing all the eyes into the middle and you don’t want people drifting out the sides. Just thought I’d mention it!