El Porto Lifeguard Station
El Porto beach is located on the north end of the South Bay, close to Richard’s home. El Porto is a beach of juxtapositions, where the beauty of the California shoreline sits in the shadow of the largest oil refinery on the West Coast and the massive towers of the Scattergood Power Generating Station. The towers, visible from as far away as Malibu, define the South Bay horizon. It’s nearly impossible to photograph along the shore without its orange and white stripes during the day or the red warning lights at night.
Richard has been searching for a way to capture this contrasting scene. An extremely overcast November, just after sunset, provided him with the opportunity he was waiting for. “I wanted to capture the lifeguard stand in an abstract way. I’ve been trying to capture this—get the subject in and still retain its shape and capture the essence of the scene. Instead of fighting the towers, I feature them as part of the natural landscape. They are as much a part of the view as the mountains and the sky.”