I studied photography in college and have participated in numerous workshops but the wildflowers of the California hillsides were my first real teachers of photography. Their breathtaking, ever-changing beauty pulled me into the hills and gave me so many opportunities to practice my craft, spring after spring. They helped me to see how the play of light, color and gesture can make a strong photograph.
In June of 2007 after 31 years of teaching and living in the Salinas Valley, I moved to the Monterey Coast where the magic of shells and seaweed gave new direction to my work. Since that time I have jumped out of bed almost every morning, grabbed my camera and traveled the half mile down my road to see what the tide has brought in.
I have discovered the amazing colors that can be found in tideline treasures at dawn’s light or on those foggy days that so often roll in along our coast. I could walk past the same shell or seaweed on a sunny day and little of the brilliance would be revealed. All colors in these photographs are courtesy of Mother Nature and are true to what I saw.
At times I feel like an archaeologist discovering masterpieces created long ago. When I see the shadow of a face in a shell, I am reminded of how the Native People of this region lived their lives so connected to the land, the sea and the tides.
Everyday is special, but low tides allow me a glimpse of a part of the shore that gets revealed only once in awhile. I experience it as an intimate invitation. I am drawn to using a macro lens. It allows me to get close, to see more of the essence.
For me, photography is not so much a capturing of an image but more a sharing of an experience, a feeling, a moment in time. I am often reminded, especially during this time of great change, how fleeting these moments can be. Several of these pictures were taken a moment before I had to jump back from a wave and watch my subject be washed out to sea.
Debbie Delatour 2008