Where: Signal Hill, CA
Between Meeting: Coffee Break
Tea time in England is 4:00pm. There is interesting data indicating we can drink caffeine at 4:00pm without disrupting circadian rhythms, thus the tradition. All I know is I’m often dragging around this time. During the winter, 4:00pm is usually the best light of the day. So I often take a break, get a coffee and spend 10-15 minutes looking for interesting things to photograph, in the good light. Then back to the office until 8pm.
A few minutes from Epson’s office in Long Beach, CA is Hilltop Park. It sits atop a hill with a somewhat industrial view of the Long Beach harbor. Sculptures in the park tell a story of the area’s past which was focused on drilling for oil. The light was good, and with a Grande Bold in hand, I drove over to the park.
The light was low in the sky courtesy of the ecliptic in winter, and I saw this girl playing in the overlook area. She was 180 degrees from the angle in the final image and the light in that direction was dead flat. Knowing kids move around, I just waited a few minutes and she started to walk the perimeter of the viewing area. She briefly stopped in a perfect spot where the sun created an edge of light separating her from the background. By moving my position a couple of feet, I was able to create a somewhat mirror image of her and the coin operated binocular.
I love negative space and knew the composition was strong. The way she was standing evoked emotions of pride and confidence. But my favorite aspect of this shot is what Jay Maisel calls: no color, color with only subtle nuances of pastel tones.