EDUCATOR'S GUIDE: SEA CHANGE, The Seascape in Contemporary Photography


Robert Adams
Born 1937, Orange, New Jersey, resides in Astoria, Oregon

Now relocated to the Northwest after over three decades in Colorado, Adams continues to photograph along the Oregon coast where the Columbia River joins the Pacific. He attests to the ocean's overwhelming beauty, unfailing mystery, its ability to quickly change and be always new, and its hypnotic effect.

Southwest from the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon, 1990
©1998 Robert Adams

Tom Baril
Born 1952, Danielson, Connecticut, resides in New York, New York

Baril began to make seascape photographs with a pinhole camera on beaches from Martinique to Hawaii to his native Long Island shore. He uses bleaching and toning techniques applied with a brush to produce color variations in this work. Baril sees the ocean as magical and responds to the minimalist beauty of a scene composed of only water and sky.

Jones Beach 96, 1996
©1998 Tom Baril

Thomas Joshua Cooper
Born 1946, San Francisco, California, resides in Glasgow, Scotland

As a graduate student in the early seventies, Cooper hitchhiked every weekend from New Mexico to California just to see the ocean. He sees his photographs as meditations concerned with myths and rituals of the land. These concerns continue in his recent photography, where the sea is the subject of ninety percent of his work. Cooper brushes in toning and bleaching elements to create blue, maroon, and silver tones within his images.

Looking Towards the Old World, The Atlantic Ocean, The Bay of Fundy West Quoddy Head (The Easternmost Point of Continental America) Maine, United States, 1996/7
©1998 Thomas Joshua Cooper

Lynn Davis
Born 1944, Minneapolis, Minnesota, resides in Hudson, New York

Davis redirected her photography after making a series of iceberg images at sea off Greenland in 1986. Northumberland Strait, as seen from a cliff near her Nova Scotia home, is a recurring subject in her work. She seeks to capture, in her work, a sense of spiritual ideal, and relies on the contemplative quality of water, its unlimited horizon, reflective qualities, and connection to the ever-changing nature of things: mortality, transformation, and the passage of time.

Evening/Northumberland Strait, #IV, 1993
©1998 Lynn Davis

Liz Deschenes
Born 1966, Boston, Massachusetts, resides in New York, New York

Deschenes took a disposable 35mm camera on a Caribbean vacation in 1994. Shooting waist-deep in the sea, she produced images that compelled her to return and complete the Color Study series a year later. She responds to the curl of fast approaching waves, and recognizes the sea as a very accessible popular subject whose unexpected range of colors far exceeds those portrayed in travel brochures.

Color Study #11, 1994-95
©1998 Liz Deschenes

Robbert Flick
Born 1939, Amersfoort, Holland, resides in Claremont, California

Flick's long relationship with the sea began in Holland and the Dutch West Indies, where, as a teenager, he spent hours at a time swimming by himself in the ocean. He then moved to the Pacific coast, to Los Angeles and British Columbia. He is interested in the idea of the apocalypse or last wave, and the sea's relationship to life and death. In 1982, seeking to simulate an interior view of a wave, he photographed the passage of the incoming surf while walking above it on Manhattan Beach pier. Here he revises that sequence of exposures as a digital work.

Surf1.Var2, 1997
©1998 Robbert Flick

Roni Horn
Born 1955, New York, New York, resides in New York, New York

After her first visit to Iceland in 1975, the island location inspired many of her installations and artist's books that include photography. Her search for Jules Verne's vision of the center of the earth informs several projects that elicit the sea. In this work, Horn explores the symbolic, psychological and imaginative power of the ocean, and its traditional romantic role as terrifying and sublime.

Untitled (A Brink of Infinity), 1997
©1998 Roni Horn

Stuart Klipper
Born 1941, New York, New York, resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Klipper was three times invited to participate in the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. He and his cameras have made Arctic and Antarctic voyages since 1981 in ships and under sail. Working in color and black-and-white, standard formats and panorama, he has photographed forty-eight large bodies of water.

Swell, 50 S, Southern Ocean, 1992 from On Antarctica II
©1998 Stuart Klipper

Fernando La Rosa
Born 1943, Arequipa, Peru, resides in Macon, Georgia

La Rosa's native Lima is situated by the ocean and has a perpetual fog that obscures any visible horizon. Using frames made of acetate inside of the camera, he alters views and creates scenes within scenes of the water, horizon, and sky off North American and in the Caribbean. La Rosa relishes the sea's balance of stillness and power and the sensual experience of swimming in it.

Horizon Line, Gulf of Mexico, 1996
©1998 Fernando La Rosa

HOME    This page last updated July 26, 1999.

Center for Creative Photography · The University of Arizona · Tucson, Arizona 85721-0103 · Phone: 520-621-7968