This collection began in 1990, out of a sense of wonder and amusement. Having tried (and failed) to photograph Pt. Lobos, an iconic coastal preserve in Northern California, in a unique way, I looked down at some of the sandstone and granite patterns at Weston Beach and made the initial photo (first image). I thought it was amusing, but filed it away and forgot about it.

Several years later, armed with my first digital camera, I returned to Weston Beach and again, looked down. It was a crisp, sparking morning with an extremely low tide.  As I scrambled over the slippery rocks, a chorus of faces and mythical creatures emerged. It was impossible to “unsee” them, so I began photographing them as found portraits, each unique, each etched forever in the rock that was the foundation of that storied beach. I’ve returned several times over the years and expected to see the same menagerie of figures and faces, but it was different each time. 

While these images are ephemeral, sadly, Pt. Lobos as we know it has an expiration date, as well. Northern California‘s sea level could rise as much as seven feet by the turn of the century, all but decimating Weston Beach. In the context of inevitable catastrophic climate change, Lobospheres has become my way to document the crazy micro-beauty of this natural treasure before it’s washed away. Ultimately, Lobospheres reminds us of what we take for granted and rarely take the time to really see or appreciate.

© Copyright, David Ellis, 2021
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