Perseverance - Bowling Ball Beach, Schooner Gulch, Mendocino County, CA
January 15, 2010
This first trip we took with Lana to the northern coast of California represents the beginning of Jeff’s long love affair with its limitless opportunities for exploration and experimentation. For him, the coast and its surrounds were full of new research projects and hope that there was some escape, near or far, from chaotic life in the Bay Area. Over his many visits throughout the years his skills as a photographer would be challenged but bettered because of moments like this, when unique subjects and a temperamental sea could complicate things and push him to new limits.
"I had to wait on the tide for a little, but it was almost perfect. If I had arrived for sunset I would have found a bunch of dry (boring) "bowling balls"… Making these long exposures was somewhat difficult as the sea would cycle through flooding over the top of all of them (turning the image into a muddled mess). I was able to time this shot for the lull and get off the rock and out of the way before the flood came back. I got caught a couple of times and it was a little disconcerting standing knee deep in rushing water not sure where the rocks you walked out on were now… Other than a small mishap with my Hoya HD Circular Polarizer (it came apart in my hands - Hope I can put it back together!) and some wet pants and FREEZING toes I'd call this visit a success!"
I remember how frazzled but excited he looked as Lana and I hung back to watch him work. And how long and scraggly his hair still was that January, the curls wild with the salty spray of the tide. It had gotten cold, but he persisted nonetheless. This was where the magic would happen.
- Sam Henneberry and Alanna Swanson