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Solo Beach Walks

Seth Willingham


Behind the Shot

Laguna Beach, in southern Orange County, California, is a beautiful stretch of rugged coastline known for its steep cliffs and sandy coves as well as its bohemian artist culture. Plein-air painters flocked to the region in the early 1900s, settling there and creating an artist colony that thrives to this day. High-end galleries and world-famous festivals including the Sawdust Art Festival, the Pageant of the Masters and the Plein Air Painting Invitational make the area very popular with tourists, attracting over 6 million visitors to the region every year.

The area inspires Seth as well. “I like shooting here early in the morning. Things are calm and there aren’t a lot of people on the beach yet. The morning tones are best once the sun starts hitting the water. The tones of the sand and the water, the textures of the waves, the sand under the water—it’s all very appealing to me. It’s also fleeting. The wave breaks, and a half-second later it’s gone. Never seen again.”