Vantage Point

Wanting to escape record-setting heat, I traveled to the coast of Southern California and spent three days in July, 2023 photographing beachgoers from above. 

I’ve photographed this coastal setting several times over the past twenty years. A street photographer with a preference for cityscapes, I am used to documenting humans as they hurry about. At the beach, I capture them as they recreate.  

With Vantage Point, I explore how proximity, position, and privilege impact the ways in which we see and experience the world. The images in this series were made from a bird’s-eye-view using a wide-angle lens. The subjects are both observing and being observed. And the viewer, because of the vantage point, is inserted into each scene as if they too are a participant. Some of the photos were digitally processed exactly as composed in my camera. With others, I skewed depth and spatial relationships as part of the editing process. I made these technical choices because they can add a sense of familiarity or create a feeling of being off balance.

My objective is to use something as innocuous as a day at the beach as an invitation to examine how we judge and perceive–consciously and unconsciously.