AT THE BEACH
JULY 16, 2021
View from the top (not the Gwyneth Paltrow film)
Sometimes, you explore a region for a while and at the end, a nice collection of photos emerges that sort of captures the essence of the place. Sometimes, the opposite happens. You explore a region for a while and nothing comes out of it. Bad light, bad weather, bad luck, whatever it may be. Bretagne was such a place for me. So many lovely places, and no photographic luck. With one exception. One glorious small window of chance that brought fulfilment. Let me take you to my favourite beach on earth: Plage les Grèves d'en Bas.
In Bretagne, I had made a habit of taking the road nearest to the coast, however longer it would take. This time it payed off - I almost veered off the road because I was so baffled by the beauty of the beach below me. I quickly parked, took one photo from above (which became my favourite later), and ran down as fast as I could, shoveling boatloads of sand into my shoes. Then I just stood there, enchanted by the desert-like width, the soft shimmer of the beach, the perfect colour pairing of sand and sea. I was awestruck.
My first portrait of a stranger
He also made a great subject from the distance
The coolest thing was an old man walking up and down the shoreline over and over again. I don't know whether he was bored or lonely, or if he just liked doing it. He made for a great motive, so I sneakily shot some photos from the distance - but that wasn't enough. Taking a portrait of a stranger was on my bucket list for this trip, and two days before I had been too scared to ask two fishermen if I could take their photo. This time, I overcame my fear. I got pretty nervous, so the portrait is not perfect, but it still turned out nicely. I'm very happy that I found the confidence to ask.
In sum, I probably only spent twenty minutes on this beach, but they made up for all of the shitty weather, all of the cloudy mornings and evenings, and all the missed images. I love these moments of serendipity.
A little pop of colour