Ft. Bragg, CA, 2017


The city of Ft. Bragg is my favorite layover as I enter California from Portland. Whereas Mendocino is too busy for my liking, Ft. Bragg, despite being a tourist destination, manages to emit a peaceful, small-town feel. Not too small-town, which is its charm.

 I arrived at Bragg mid-afternoon the day before making this image after traveling through the snowy remains along the hills of HWY 1 and descending into perfect coastal weather. I don’t like perfect coastal weather. All the pictures I take in that sort of weather look like postcards, and the photographs I took that day were all boring and predictable. It’s hard to photograph beauty and make it inspiring instead of trite.

The next morning, as I prepared to leave the town, I visited Glass Beach. There’s a rock at Glass Beach, a bowl really, that’s always filled with water that reflects the light in a remarkable way, reminding me of Alice Through the Looking Glass. It’s magic. I arrived early, and the beach was empty, though a man waited in the parking lot, sitting in his truck reading the newspaper. The sun had not yet risen. Clouds spread across the sky like saguaro arms, bringing life to what would have been a tedious, blank sky. I took several pictures of “The Bowl,” and stepped closer to the sea to photograph the rocks made visible by the low tide. Ft. Bragg, CA, 2017 is one of those photographs. Along the right, a small portion of “The Bowl” can be seen, which enlivens the photograph.