Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, California


In front of me is the Pacific Ocean, dark and brooding, churning hard from the storm that passed through yesterday, the first big storm of the season. And exactly why I’m up at 4:30 in the morning, again, two days in a row to shoot photos, still doesn’t make sense to me. Lit only by a full moon, the beach is another world, strewn with stone and entangled in seaweed. I’m carrying a flashlight, but I keep stumbling because I can’t take my eyes off the waves, crashing and hissing as they roll ashore. Birds call in the distance, birds I’ve only heard in movies, and the morning takes on yet another sensation. And I’m wondering why any of this matters, and the whole endeavor seems like folly as I set up the camera. It’s too dark to shoot, but to the east, the horizon is turning orange and blue. I push my hands deep into my jacket pockets, pull it tight around me, and wait as the day begins to take shape.