he area depicted in ‘Tribute to Edward’
owns a rich history in photography. Ansel Adams and
Edward Weston, two of America’s photography icons,
created some of their most powerful images along the
Big Sur coast of California, and specifically here at
Point Lobos State Reserve.
Inspired to create my own powerful images, I drove to
Big Sur in March of 1998. After spending three days
exploring and photographing farther down the coast I
began to really tune into the area. Finally, I decided
it was time for Point Lobos. Being familiar with Edward
Weston’s work, I greatly anticipated exploring
Weston Beach and other famous Point Lobos locales. I
arrived at mid morning under overcast skies. The potential
for wind is always an issue when working any coastline.
Today I felt none. Would this be my day?
I consulted a map of the area and headed toward Weston
Beach and China Cove at the south end of the reserve.
Often when I go to a new area it takes a substantial
amount of time to feel connected and locate beautiful
images. Not so today. I was already in tune and after
walking up the path for fifty feet, there, spread before
me, was this incredible scene of California Lilac with
China Cove gently surging back and forth in the background.
I was deeply moved and knew this was it. However, there
was a problem. The sun needed more time to move toward
the west to light the entire scene evenly. Once again,
the all too familiar waiting game.
For me, this is one of the most ‘patience testing’
parts of photography: having a great subject and composition
selected, but having to wait for the conditions to become
right. So, I hiked up the shore to Weston Beach which
was beautiful; however, the image I had waiting for
me back at China Cove was spectacular!
In about an hour, I returned to find the scene evenly
lit and even more beautiful than before. As I set up
my camera, a group of school children passed behind
me on the trail. They were curious and asked questions
about the strange wooden camera. I answered briefly
and shared with them my need to hurry before the wind
started blowing. They moved off to observe sea otters
on the point.
I continued photographing and was blessed by calm air
and consistent lighting. After completing ‘Tribute
to Edward,’ I could feel deep in my soul just
how special this experience was. I thought about Edward
Weston and Ansel Adams, and wondered if they shared
the same feelings as me so many years ago.