Have you ever been to a beach so breathtaking that you wish you could stay forever? That’s what French photographer Christian Chaize thought when he visited a secluded shore in Portugal and vowed to return again—and again and again. See the beachy keen series below.
In 2004, a self-taught photographer from Lyon, France found himself vacationing in a small secret beach in southern Portugal. It wasn’t hard for Christian Chaize to become obsessed with the coastline which has since become the main subject of his ongoing series, Praia Piquinia.
The beach took over his career and he swore to keep coming back, to photograph the same shoreline from the same elevated angle at different times of the year, to try to understand the “ineffable draw of its inviting and mysterious landscape.” He also likes to watch the sun and sea worshippers as they pop open their colorful parasols and lie on the sand.
“Returning to this specific place, I’ve sought out its nuances. In doing so, I have peeled back layers of how I see, and how I experience this magical environment,” says Chaize. “What the still life was for Morandi, this beach is for me.”
“From a distance, I observe the variables: light, weather, time of day, the ebb and flow of the ocean, and the sunbathers, unaware, below my large format camera. The images are shot vertically, a departure from the traditional, horizontal format in landscape photography. It puts my subject matter in the form of a portrait – an ongoing record of this ethereal yet playful nook in nature over the minutes, the days, the years. Ultimately, I try to instill an element of time within these captured moments… visceral time, elastic from one image to another. And always, I seek to have new eyes.”
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