Here I tried to create a feeling of loneliness, using multiple elements to drive that feeling.
The anonymity of the person lets me imagine it could be anyone, even me. This anonymous person is walking out of the frame, rather than the more acceptable practice of having a person walk into the frame. The horizon is tilted, breaking another principle of good photos. But the slightly tilted horizon implies a downhill energy that is also driving the person out of frame. I know that in a few moments, the frame will be empty and I - the viewer - will be alone.
While beach scenes are often framed horizontally emphasizing the vastness of the landscape, this image is framed vertically, adding to the feeling of isolation. I can only see a small portion of the scene. I know the beach is long and wide, extending in both directions, but I can’t see those parts of the beach, nor interact with them.
The sky is emphasized here, taking up most of the scene. It’s an empty sky, devoid of detail or interest. While there might be detail in the beach and water, the majority of the scene is empty.
The tracks at the bottom lead out of the frame, further emphasizing the feeling of disengagement. Leading lines should lead the viewer into the scene, but these take my eye out of the image as soon as I see them. Lastly, the messiness of the scene - the light leaks along the edge, the dried chemicals in the field, the dust, the blobs - mirrors the emotion. Loneliness is a messy, uncomfortable feeling. While it’s possible to “clean up” the emotion and the image, it’s not easy or necessary. Sometimes the best thing to do is accept the value of the messiness and learn from it.
I like several things about this image. First, I like that the bottom part of the image is itself divided into three parts: dark beach, wet beach, and ocean. Second, I like that the image has so many things wrong. It’s messy, dark, tilted, blurry - and yet I keep looking. It affects me, draws me in, makes me ask questions.