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Manhattan Desert

Richard Podgurski Jr.


Behind the Shot

It’s counterintuitive, but windy days can make beaches appear eerily still. Strong gusts smooth out footprints in the sand, erasing any signs of movement. With the absence of people and footsteps, the shoreline becomes reminiscent of a desert. Combine a particularly windy day with the height of the pandemic, and photographer Richard Podgurski Jr. found himself shooting a very different Manhattan Beach than he was used to. He captured a moment when the entire world seemed to stand still.

“People say Southern California is where the desert meets the ocean,” he says. Richard truly brings that to life with this print. His drone may have almost crashed due to the forceful wind that day, but you’d never know it when looking at this image of the seemingly calm, solitary Manhattan Beach Desert.