The elephant seals at Piedras Blancas beach in California offer visitors one of the most dramatic reality shows on earth. In very few places can you come so close to a mass breeding colony. The seals haul up at various times of the year.
In December mature males fight violently for mastery of beach territory and beachmaster ranks are decided. In January females arrive to give birth to babies conceived the previous year, and suckle the babies, and squabble loudly with each other when someone gets close to a baby.
Females in a beachmaster's harem mate readily with him. Meanwhile lesser males try their chances on the edges of harems. Females resist these unwanted advances strenuously. Beachmasters chase the intruders off into the sea - leaving a perfect opportunity for other intruders to try their luck with the ladies. A male chasing a female or another male wobbles along the beach like a giant grub and takes little care if a baby is squashed on the way.
The females leave for the open sea as soon as they have mated, leaving their fat weaners to their own devices. The weaners lie on the beach until hunger and thirst drive them into the ocean. They learn to swim and fish for themselves.
In May younger males and females of all ages join the weaners for moulting.
Elephant seals spend most of the year alone, so they are not well socialized and spend much of their time just cooling off, flipping sand onto their backs, arguing, or fighting.
These photos treat wipeouts not simply as comic or alarming, but as an expression of human courage, a willingness to risk danger for the chance of achievement.
The wipeout is implicit in every attempt at riding a wave.
The wipeout is symbolic of life in general.
The photos explore the dynamic interaction between the human mind and body and the elements of wind and water.
Most were taken soon after dawn, on a unique October day in 30mph winds with 6-8ft surf.
This gallery is devoted to less abstract and more painterly portraits of Malibu creek or the creeks that feed into it.
These are just a small sample of many hundreds of high quality photos of the Malibu Creek watershed.
Some less conventional creek photos can be found in the Experimental group of galleries.
Almost all these photos are from a single beach: Dume Cove, in Malibu. Dume is time's open laboratory, where present time works at changing the residue of past times.
Point Dume, its western limit, is a plug of harder volcanic rock that withstood the waves' battering for longest. Here the rocks (coming later) are multicolored: blues, reds, purples, browns, yellows.
Immediately to the East the rocks are metamorphic - layered sediments of sandstone wonderfully transformed by the proximity of heat into sheets of white and grey that resemble marble reliefs, inscriptions in ancient languages, or finely tiled pavements.
Further away from the volcanic heat, the sandstones record the ancient beaches they once were: the pressurized sand, the ripples, sometimes raindrops.
The beach is in a state of constant transformation by daily tides and visiting storms. A powerful storm can change the beach completely overnight, sometimes revealing the beautiful rocks in pristine cleanness and clarity, more often burying them in thick layers of sand.
On a slower level, breakers erode the cliffs base and break boulders away; waves wash in pebbles that scrape and polish; algae embed their holdfasts, shipworms grind holes through solid stone.
Everything here is in a state of constant flux. As it is everywhere, but mostly we do not perceive it so clearly.