Photographed on a typically foggy day at Ocean Beach, a procession of brightly colored shapes emerge to reveal students of a surf school heading out after a morning session in the cold Pacific.
Surf School, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA is part of an ongoing series, Searching, photographed throughout recreational locations in America. Searching looks at our unexplainable desire to explore and travel in order to experience untouched terrain and beautiful vistas, revealing the importance of landscape and nature in our lives as well as the signs of modern civilization that get in the way. Where does this seemingly instinctual yearning to explore come from and why does experiencing nature make us happy anyway? Perhaps we gain pleasure from conquering the wilderness because it gives us a sense of achievement. This achievement, however, seems to be diminished by the ease in which we get there and perhaps the knowledge and evidence that so many others have been there already. Therefore, the very thing that allows us to so easily make these treks—infrastructure and modern technologies—robs us of at least some portion of the pleasure we seek. This leaves me to wonder: What are we looking for and how can we possibly find it?
Bay Area locals know the beach scene can often be a foggy affair, and SF’s Ocean Beach is no exception. Spanning the entire Sunset District and adjacent to Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach runs along the western edge of San Francisco. At night, you might see bonfires burning on the shore, but during the day it’s a surfing hotspot. The waves can be intimidating and unpredictable, with big swells and powerful currents that aren’t for the faint of heart, but Ocean Beach has long been considered one of the best beach breaks in Northern California. Since it’s usually cold, surfers are wise to wear a thick wetsuit, like the students returning from a morning lesson in Surf School, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA. Their brightly colored boards and accessories break through the fog almost apparition-like, their blurred shapes and silvery shadows taking on a watercolor quality in the eerie early light. In the distance, you can make out a few other floating figures, and what looks to be some kind of land mass, but much of the frame is filled by a solid gray sky. Baguskas often composes his photos so the sky has plenty of breathing room—a visual cue to meditate on the image, to inhale, exhale and consider the view with an open, inquisitive mind ... More on the blog!
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Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta
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