March 7, 1982. Point Lobos, California coast. My wife and I were out for a glorious day of photography back in the day when you could still get into the Point Lobos preserve on a Sunday without tripping over sixteen other people in as many square feet. (I’m reminded of something Yogi Berra supposedly said about a restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”)
I went back to the car to change film and while taking a quiet moment I noticed the reflection of the door frame in the side-view mirror. I opened the lens all the way to f/1.8, focused on the glint of sun on the chrome trim, and on the last exposure of the roll I made my first deliberately abstract photo.
You see the image above. It is what it is, but that’s not the point.
What struck me immediately was the sharp line against amorphous color. Just enough form for definition—an anchor—but not too much. The rest of the image contrasts by lack of definition. It’s easy to overthink this and get all yin/yang and form-and-void about it. Or you can just enjoy it. I chose the latter.
This is close to the ultimate: