The Pacific intrigues me like no other body of water. Having grown up minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, I am accustomed to what I always considered crashing waves. I remember the muscle memory as a child of being tossed and rolled in the waves after a visit to the beach lasting for hours after we arrived back home. The sheer strength of the Pacific dulls these memories somewhat, and forces me to reconsider the awe of my childhood fascination with the placid Atlantic.
This photograph was taken amongst the rocks in Carmel Bay. Although the crash of the waves in this photograph is impressive, the highest swells and tallest sprays seemed to come the moment I turned my camera off after waiting for the next great wave to roll in. Kemper joined me on this trek down to the water’s edge, but he was more interested in throwing pebbles to the tide pools than the august waves and cacophony of them extinguishing themselves on the rocks. Perhaps he is jaded, having grown up with the Pacific, or perhaps he is simply a child, whose attention is drawn more by his controlling of nature than nature’s control over the elements.
The morning layer was thick when I dragged him from bed to amble down to the coastline, and the colors were muted. The deep dark shades of the wet rocks and the brilliant white of the salt spray were perfect contrasts, and so my inclination to monochrome most of my photographs was well founded in this one. Although I am taking more photographs with Kemper in them, which capture his growth and my fondness of him journeying with me as I did with my father, I had not yet begun this practice when I captured this wave against the rocks of Carmel Bay. When we return, hopefully soon, to California, I will rectify this shortcoming. Perhaps he is old enough now to appreciate the power of the Pacific, but more likely, he will return to his old pursuits of watching his ripples in the tide pools as I wait for the great wave.
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