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Photographic Meditations on
Southern California's Beach Cities
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I have always felt a strong connection to the ocean and used photography to capture its many moods and movements. For a long time, I've wanted to produce a compilation of my favorite photos of the Southern California coastline, which is one of the most thoroughly and intensively urbanized in the world. Inspired by that, I decided to present this book through the prism of the thirty-two cities that lie on the Southern California coast.
Over two years, I pushed myself to obtain and select photos that are compelling and reflect the distinctiveness of each city. The result is Pacific Incorporated. My goal is for readers to experience this book as a visual journey from Goleta in the north to Imperial Beach on the Mexican border.
Pacific Incorporated contains 35 highly-detailed, exceptionally reproduced photos and an essay about how this project came about. The book is seventy-one pages and measures twelve inches high by nine inches wide. It is proudly printed in the USA.
Introduction to the book
Water isn't exactly an element, but it's definitely my element. I'm grateful for living close to the ocean, which has put me in touch with that element so often. Swimming, snorkeling, and surfing have always been central to my experience and identity. I have both a tactile and visual appreciation for water and have used photography to capture the many moods and movements of the ocean.
For a long time, I wanted to produce a book compilation of my favorite photos of the Southern California coast. I had many images, mostly taken at the places that I visited most frequently; I could have produced something decent with those alone. However, I wanted this compilation to be more comprehensive and representative of the region as a whole. With that in mind, how would I organize this project?
To answer that question, I thought about what makes Southern California's coast different from others in the world. For one thing, it is one of the most thoroughly and intensively urbanized. There are very few places where so many people live so close to the shore.
That development is centered on the thirty-two incorporated cities that lie on the coast from Goleta to Imperial Beach. A few of the cities started as inland farming communities that annexed their way to the ocean, but the rest are classic beach towns, each with its own particular geographic setting and character.
Cities seemed like a fun unit of analysis to use for my photo project. My challenge was to photograph all the cities and choose photos that capture something distinctive about each one. At the same time, the photoswhen united in one body (incorporated so to speak)would have to form something more than the sum of their parts.
Having lived in six of these cities and with personal connections to others, I had some ideas for what content to pursue in each place. The project was an opportunity to indulge in nostalgia, discover new things about familiar places, and go to one town where I had never been.... To read the rest of this introductory essay, buy the book.
Glossy soft cover. 71 pages. 12 inches x 9 inches.
Pages 2 and 3: Introductory essay
Pages 12 and 13: Oxnard
Pages 26 and 27: Hermosa Beach
Pages 28 and 29: Redondo Beach
Pages 52 and 53: Oceanside
San Gabriel Mountains
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