Wash In/Wash Out

Tabletop Reef, Cardiff State Beach, San Diego

Wash In/Wash Out – Low tide at Tabletop Reef, Cardiff State Beach, San Diego, CA. November 2012.

I only recently learned that the tidal reef at South Cardiff State Beach that I’ve been photographing for more than two years now (Cardiff State Beach is one of the few beaches where dogs are allowed, year-round, and at all times, which is why I often go there for walks with Toni when I need a fresh dosage of ocean, wind, sand and waves) actually has a name: Tabletop Reef!

Having photographed one and the same reef for so many times, it is actually fascinating how different it is each and every time. The photographic possibilities than lie within one single location alone are endless.

Winter storms had washed a lot of the sand that covered most of the reef during the summer away, and the receding tide had formed this little tideway in the sand that, strike of luck, somewhat mirrored the shape of the clouds in reverse, framing the visual clutter of seagrass and the barnacle-covered reef, and balancing it with some smooth, clean lines.

Though black & white long exposures of the ocean and coastal features are done in abundance, it is still hard to resist making them. I am fascinated by all types of water in photography, and when things fall together like in this frame, there’s nothing to regret about it, or thinking that it might be overdone.

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