Outdoors San Diego Uncategorized

Ocean Beach Street Photography

Rob Wessels

The set up:

Over consumption of alcohol on a Sunday.

We’ve all been there; “Sunday night vibes” get the best of us. Waking to foggy vision and piecing together events of the previous evening. To any of those which this has never applied, I invite you to look down your nose at me. I welcome the judgment with open arms.   

Things aren’t always as they seem from the outside looking in though. Not just a night of drunken debauchery. More an evening connecting with an old friend that ran its course through craft suds and delicious libations. Nonetheless innocent intentions sometimes can produce a headache the following day.

As the first cup of coffee went down my thoughts drifted through the past, present and future. Placing the cup down I scanned my horizon, I was sat in an unfamiliar (to me) nook of San Diego. 

Ocean Beach Pier
street photography

The action:

Quest for chilaquiles.

Truth be told the chilaquiles found me and I am grateful for that. And truthfully if I’m being truthful. What really brought me to OB was the fact it was a holiday and my friend Matt had the day off; we were going to the OB skatepark.

Another cup of coffee down, with some time to kill. I found some things that were interesting to me.

street photography
ocean beach San Diego


Trying to see things differently.

I love taking pictures and I’m always trying to advance my skill in that. Either developing new techniques or presenting a different look to things that are familiar. A favorite practice is to shoot with my 50mm prime manually focusing. Challenging myself to come up with unique perspectives. 

Either using strong fundamentals to nail a solid composition. Or to not incorporate conventional fundamentals and still produce a solid composition.

  • Things I appreciate about these photos from a fundamental perspective is:

I have done no cropping to these photos. The horizon is nice and straight (for the most part) and I think the use of leading lines and thirds has worked well in some of these photos.

  • Things that I appreciate about them where I put fundamentals aside are:

In the photo above looking straight down the pier. The Pier is centered but slightly off center. There is asymmetry with the perpendicular portion of the pier toward the top of the photo offset by the shadow of the pier. and the Shadow line that bisects almost center but not quite center.

The other thing being all the photos are shot at f 1.8. Generally speaking, not the move for mid-day photos with plenty of light. I wanted the softer clarity from shooting wide open as well as the thin depth of field. 

street photography


The pause and inhale.

My education in photography has been a self-curated journey. Though this I have learned a lot about not just photography but art in all its forms. If a photo can draw you in and make you examine the components; even if the outcome is that you don’t like it. I would consider that a success.

The other side of that would be, if the individual would give an image or exhibit even a minute or two and see if they are missing something. I think some art or at least the appreciation for art can be overlooked with the tendency to double tap and move on. Not even being able to recall what was seen a minute ago. Allow your breath to settle, forget about you bills, let the world melt around you and explore.

OB pier
Ocean Beach San Diego