My work travel sometimes take me to the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, but in the past I had never brought along my camera. My previous trips were always in the winter (or whatever passes for winter in LA), which meant shorter days and less opportunity to get out and watch the sunset. But on my recent trip in late-April, I knew I would finally have a chance to see the beach on a wonderfully sunny late afternoon.
Venice is a charming place, and there are a wealth of things to photograph on the beach, but my eye was really drawn to the lifeguard stations regularly spaced up and down the shore. I took several photos of them in different light, trying to find a way to capture the shape and structure in a clean scene that didn’t have a lot of distractions, but I was having trouble finding the right perspective.
This particular station was a little different. It was situated on a slight rise in the sand, meaning that it was possible to stand and look slightly up towards the building. That offered me a nice vantage point to frame the scene, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the people. Then I realized, the people were the scene. Everyone was having a nice time as the sun set while using the life guard station as a place to hang out and enjoy the evening.
By framing this as a silhouette, I was able to reduce a lot of distractions while allowing the crowd and the station to stand out as a place of life and happiness at the end of a beautiful day.