Esowista

The Esowista Peninsula on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island shelters the fertile inlets of Clayoquot Sound with a mix of sandy soil, ocean clay and basalt. Pristine beaches lie between massive unending stretches of rock where the ocean fractures its way back to the forest through surge channels.

For much of the period between summer 2013 and late 2015, I was living in the port town of Tofino, at the tip of the peninsula. I landed out of curiosity for the Pacific Northwest and in search of a place where I could learn to surf.

Outside of the summer tourist crowds and the tight-knit community, I found myself spending many solitary moments in nature. In the absence of busy sidewalks to photograph, I started looking for emotional forms in the rocks, trees and tide lines.

I was told that Cox Bay to Radar Beach held the most difficult stretch of coast to hike between Tofino and Ucluelet and eventually developed my own route to scissor its nine precipitous surge channels within a four-hour low-tide window. I became fascinated with the contrast of diffuse light and sharp edges, the stone amphitheatres and the threateningly alive water reclaiming its contact with land in alliance with the extremophiles of the intertidal zone. I kept going back.

These photos are the result of many thousands of captures over two years of exploration. The depth-confounding oceanscape portraits came first as an exercise in composition and iteration. Creating dyptichs constrained the patterns while further abstracting the landscapes’ coordinates.

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