In “Rock Dream,” a new image to be displayed at Festival of Arts and Sawdust Art Festival this summer, photographer Sean Hunter Brown offers a glimpse below the surface of the ocean, a part of Laguna Beach that most never see while simply driving or walking through the city. With a sunset above and sea life below, this Laguna lensman captures the magic of the moment when the day’s last glimmer of light slips below the horizon.
Brown specifically chose the tide pool area at Heisler Park for the setting of his photo. “The coast along Heisler Park is a special place for me to photograph,” he says. “It’s one of the few places left in Laguna where no houses and/or hotels line the beach and bluffs. I’m thankful for that every time I’m there.”
To get the shot—which is one photo and not a composite of multiple images—Brown used a digital SLR camera inside a waterproof housing. It takes about 30 minutes for him to set up his gear on the beach before wading into the water. Brown partially submerged the camera in a tide pool area to capture the view both above and below the ocean surface, employing a flash to illuminate the underwater portion. According to Brown, these over-under shots in low light are challenging to achieve, but the results are worth the effort.
“I love creating this style of ocean photography at sunset or sunrise as it gives a great contrast at these times,” Brown says. “For this image, I noticed the unique clouds forming in the afternoon on this day and knew the sunset would be special. Fortunately the tide, wind and water conditions all cooperated to allow me a chance at capturing this image.”
Brown, who is passionate about the environment and works as an arborist to protect native oak trees in addition to his ocean photography, lives in Laguna Beach with his wife, Kelly, and their daughter, Finley.
Written by Laguna Beach Magazine Staff