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Encinitas in Mixed Media

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, Olivenhain, Leucadia

Roy Kerckhoffs

Encinitas in Mixed Media


Copyright © 2017 by Roy Kerckhoffs All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or article. Printed in Korea by Four Colour Print Group, Louisville, Kentucky First Printing, 2017 ISBN 978-0-9986080-0-6 Roy Kerckhoffs Art 5365 Avenida Encinas Ste C Carlsbad, CA 92011 Published by Kerckhoffs Art & Science, Inc.



Introduction In my work I enjoy conveying a story of a place with a history. I love bold textures created by passing time, placing emphasis on bygone days. In particular, I wish to show the beauty that exists in human-made wooden, concrete and steel structures contrasting with soft organic forms from nature. My favorite subjects are industrial objects, ghost towns and coastal themes with an element of human origin. Hence you’ll rarely find “pure” nature landscape photographs. Instead, when it comes to the coast, the focus is on a pier, lifeguard tower, stairs, or another coastal aspect.

beaches Beacons and Grandview; Historic Encinitas contains Swamis beach; Cardiff-by-the-Sea is where San Elijo State Beach and Cardiff State Beach are located. Olivenhain, founded by German immigrants, contains buildings from the late 1800’s.

I work with high-contrast black and white chemically-developed photographs and then hand color the photographs with a translucent oil-based paint (Marshall Photo Oils), using similar techniques as in the early days of photography. This specialized paint is dedicated for hand coloring photographs and doesn’t necessarily need any more thinning. Cotton rounds (make-up pads) and cotton swabs are used to both apply and remove paint. For the very detailed work I use cotton swabs that have pointy ends. Encinitas, California has captured my eye as the beaches, the light and the fog provide extraordinary backdrops for fences, lifeguard stations and walkways. Encinitas lies on the US Pacific Ocean coast. The San Elijo Lagoon defines its south end, and the Batiquitos Lagoon forms its boundary to the north. Many of the names are taken from The Native Americans who first lived here, the San Dieguitos, La Jollans and Dieguenos. After being controlled by Mexico, California was ceded to the USA in the nineteenth century. What we know today as Encinitas per se is a recent confection, incorporated in 1986 to combine Historic Encinitas, New Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Leucadia and Olivenhain. Leucadia is the site of renowned 4




Former page: Welcome to Encinitas. This photo was taken from the border of Solana Beach and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. On the right is part of the San Elijo Lagoon. On the left along the stretch of Highway 101 is Cardiff State Beach and in the background along the cliffs is San Elijo State Beach. The cliff in the far background, protruding into the ocean is Swami’s, from where the photo on this page was taken.


This page: People of Cardiff. This photo was taken from the parking lot next to Swami’s. Beyond tower 19 is San Elijo State Beach and in the distance is Cardiff State Beach.


This page: Cardiff Beach. Note the remarkable colors in the sand, in these and other pictures, stains and shadows created by waves at high tide.

Former Page: T10 and Tower 11. These, the lowest numbered towers in Encinitas, are located at Cardiff State Beach, which is south of where the San Elijo Lagoon connects to the ocean.


Like 16. This image of the most southern permanent lifeguard tower at San Elijo State Beach, is named after the reflection of the tower in the wet sand. A long time ago, this used to be Tower 7. The old lifeguard headquarters can be seen on the cliff behind and just above the tower. The very day I took this photo a large portion of the cliff collapsed, which prompted the permanent closure of the old headquarters—not completely unexpected since warnings of the danger issued in a State Park system report in the l980’s had gone long unheeded.


San Elijo Beach. Shot with a long lens, the cliffs at Swami’s appear large, framing the surfer poised to enter the water. With deliberate care I reduced the intensity of the colors towards the back.



Started The Day. Several favorable conditions contribute to the composition of this photograph. The mist in the early morning provides an elegant atmospheric perspective that separates the foreground from the background. The kelp on the beach serves as an extension of the waves. Further, the static lifeguard tower juxtaposes the surfer coming out of the water. The guy started his day by going out surfing, and likely is now heading to work. In the background you can see the rush hour traffic on Highway 101. 13

Tower 17. Cloudy skies and a marine layer provide marvelous opportunities for this image. (It is surprising how much contrast and texture can be derived from a marine layer, which initially appears bland to your eyes.) I left the grays of the sky and ocean untouched; only colored the beach and towers with warm tones contrasting with cool ones. My very first lifeguard tower image was of Tower 3 at Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla. This image shows a wondrous coincidence: In that earlier image of Tower 3 a seagull perched in precisely the same position as the one that peers out from Tower 17.


8 to 17. Perhaps it’s the engineer in me, or being influenced by Bernd and Hilla Becher, or both, as I am attracted to simple, straightforward compositions, keeping lines parallel to the frame. The weathered “8” can be faintly observed behind the more recent “17”. It provides some clues to the renumbering of this tower.


High Tide. Tower 16 gets its feet wet at high tide. Another simple, straightforward composition, where I “broke the rules”: both the main object and the horizon are in the middle. But hey, if it works, it works! Artists shouldn’t be bound by too many rules. It is essential to know rules of composition and then defy them only with deliberation.


Red, Yellow and Blue. I was standing near the water line, facing the ocean and for no apparent reason the so-called “180 degree rule” popped in my head. It states that when you see something pretty, turn around, because you may see something prettier. I turned around and I saw these surfers walking up and down the stairs, carrying colorful surfboards, and this one red board leaning against the stairs. So I quickly ran over to get the shot. The colors were added by hand, representing the actual colors from that day. The primary colors led me to name it “Red, Yellow and Blue”, especially because it reminded me of the vandalization of Barnett Newman’s “Who’s afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III” in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1986. I was 13 at the time and it became a subject in my art class. Later, the restoration of the painting became a subject of controversy. 17

Tower 19. Tower 19 is located at the north end of the beach. This is a popular surf spot, which is known as “Pipes� among surfers. Again I break some rules here, but the symmetry is a bit skewed by the lone surfboard and the surfer walking on the beach. In my earlier work I colored my photographs very selectively (e.g., only a tower) and left most areas uncolored. Over the years I slowly began to add more color.


Checking It Out. Another shot of lifeguard tower 19. This is a triple-layered composition. It is a combination of two longer exposures (two photos at six seconds each, making it effectively 12 seconds) and a fast exposure of 1/45 seconds. Most of the depicted scene is derived from the slow exposures. Only the image that captured the group of three surfers is taken from the fast one. This image prompted two undertakings. First, purchasing a ten-stop neutral density filter, which permits me to take very long exposures in broad daylight. I was previously limited to about six seconds as shown here. Second, the above image inspired one of my best-selling images, All Mine!, of a surfer on a single wave at Windansea Beach in La Jolla, California. 19

Missing Tower. In the foreground it appears there had been another lifeguard tower in this location. There are several such pillars throughout San Elijo State Beach and also at South Carlsbad State Beach in the North. I captured the scene with some towels and the lovely little bird perched on it. In the background are Tower 19 and the stairs at Swami’s Beach.

Tower 18. This tower is near a tall set of stairs that lead up to the campground. I liked how the rocks dominate the foreground, with a surfer walking in between them. I envisioned the photo with surfers walking to and from the water. I waited for the right moment to shoot this photo.


Clouds at 17. At first glance it seems like this image might have been obtained with a longer exposure, resulting in moving clouds. However, it is the sun’s rays breaking through. A closer look at the gaps in the clouds reveals they are stationary. 21

T16. The south end of the cliffs, where Tower 16 is located, was the location of the lifeguard headquarters for decades, until a winter storm caused the face of the cliff to collapse in November 2011.

Cardiff Stairs.There are several sets of stairs along San Elijo State Beach. They are not only convenient for access to the beach from the campground above, but are also a popular training site for joggers. The stairs shown here are just north of Tower 18.


T17 and T18. An up-close look at Towers 17 and 18. The towers’ numbering increases from South to North, indicating the increasing height of the cliffs (with the campgrounds on top). 23

T19. Behind Tower 19 is a sloped walkway that leads from the parking lot above on Highway 101 down to the beach. The clouds bring interest in the sky as the sun tries to break through. The palm tree contributes pleasant asymmetry. 24

Majestic 16. Captured at low tide in the morning, light rays shoot out from behind lifeguard Tower 16 at San Elijo State Beach. Here again I added a warm light brown (burnt sienna) to the sand and cliff, which contrast with the blues in the sky and lifeguard tower. The appearance of natural highlights is obtained in the sand and cliff by gently daubing the lightly applied paint with cotton rounds. The tower also has a touch of aqua blended in. When I colored the tower with cotton rounds I also covered the metal railings. Later I removed the paint from the railing with pointy cotton swabs that had a little bit of a turpentine-like solution on them. 25

A Girl And Her Bike. The south end of San Elijo State Beach has a small slope extending into the ocean - at the location of lifeguard Tower 16. At low tide, the beach becomes very wide and the sand is hard packed. Hence, the firm sand is a wonderful place to learn to ride a bike! Here, a little girl is taking a break at the tower. I stood at a distance and used a long lens, to capture the cliffs at Swami’s which loom every so softly in the background. Two other towers provide balance and intrigue for this shot. 26



Historic Encinitas


Cardiff Dream. A view of Swami’s beach in the foreground and San Elijo State Beach in the distance, with the sun about to set. On the left behind Tower 19, is a view of the sloped walkway that leads from the 101 parking lot to the beach. 30

Reflections. Captured around the same time and location as Cardiff Dream. I love the aqua blue of the ocean around sunset.


People of Swami’s. Swami’s beach is a renown surfing spot. The beach is named after Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, because the Self-Realization Fellowship retreat center, built in 1937, overlooks this gorgeous beach.


Tower on Moonlight I. A lone lifeguard tower before the rain at Moonlight State Beach. I colored the tower its actual color (although in some previous instances I have colored towers in different tones). Because the grays of the clouds and ocean are perfect as they are, I left them untouched.


Moonlight Surfers. This image focuses on the same lifeguard tower on Moonlight State Beach as before, but with people included. The tower appears huge compared to the surfers, but a closer look reveals that the tower stands on a mound of sand, and the surfers are much further away. From 1941, lifeguard services in Encinitas were provided by the San Diego County Lifeguard Service. In the late 1950’s, those services at Cardiff State Beach and the San Elijo campgrounds were taken over by the California State Park Lifeguard Service. Since the incorporation of Encinitas, for several years Solana Beach headed lifeguard services that were not covered by the State Parks. Since July 1st, 1991, Encinitas operates its own lifeguard service and is under the city’s fire department. 34


This page: Moonlight Treasure. I love how fog adds depth to images, with lighter backgrounds juxtaposed to dark foregrounds. Here, that also leads to an intriguing gradual transition between the two in the cliffs and sand. It makes the treasure hunter stand out against the people in the distance. Next page: Encinitas Surfers. A multitude of beachgoers is captured here, with surfers on the beach and in the water, a fisherman (perhaps a fishing boat or two in the distance), while a lady taking it all in, relaxes in her beach chair.



Encinitas Stairs. This is an example of how I colored a tower differently, blue instead of beige. These stairs are at the end of D Street. After studying the image, I knew the photo would be more arresting if it were square-cropped. It just felt right to emphasize the ocean’s horizon only a short distance from the top of the frame. 38

Play at Moonlight Beach. This is the same tower as in the image on the left. I wanted to capture the volleyball net and the rustic pole supporting it. The people in the background are just beginning to build a sand sculpture.

Tower on Moonlight II. I was attracted to using the heap of sand as an aide to guide the eye to the tower. I was very close to the sand and because I wanted everything sharp, the aperture was very small. Of course, the camera was on a tripod. I once heard a photographer joke that, “The tripod is more important than the camera�. 39




Olivenhain Meeting Hall. Olivenhain (German for olive grove or olive orchard) was founded by German immigrants who arrived from Denver in 1884. The original meeting hall is still present and was built in 1895. Many social events and meetings have been held here and continue to this day. In 1993 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Olivenhain II. This is the Meeting Hall viewed from the front. The hall was the center of activities in Olivenhain. These activities included dances, picnics and 4th of July celebrations. Both local residents as well as many from neighboring communities gathered here regularly. From 1895 through 1910 the Saturday night dances were especially popular.


Olivenhain III. Olivenhain stretches from the San Elijo Lagoon in the south, along both sides of Manchester Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road, to the north past Lone Jack Road. These old buildings are located on the corner of 7th Street and Rancho Sante Fe Road. The standard colony house measured 16 by 24 feet or 14 by 28 feet, and was divided into two or three rooms.


Germania Hotel. During the time when Olivenhain was a German colony, the largest house in Olivenhain belonged to Herman and Katherine Bächt and their 10 children. It was called “The Hotel” because at some point the family took in boarders. Originally the house was located at Teten Way, named after one of the later owners. It was relocated in 1982.


Olivenhain I. A view of the Meeting Hall looking south with an outhouse in the foreground.




Stone Steps Station II. These access stairs to the beach are located at the west end of South El Portal Street, between Moonlight Beach and Beacons Beach. I knew I wanted a photograph that included the spirals of kelp together with the tower and the stairs so I shot this image with my camera almost touching the sand. 48

Stone Steps Station I. I like using stairs as lead-in lines towards objects in the photograph. When doing this I prefer to have the horizon also in the photo, but very close to the edge.


Father and Daughter. I captured this image from Beacons Beach on a foggy morning, looking South; I used one of my longer lenses. The fog here served as a more abrupt separator - as opposed to a more gradual atmospheric perspective effect - between back- and foreground: the cliffs in the back pop up above it. I avoided adding (too much) color to the region with the fog. And, wouldn’t the image look very different without the dad and his 3-year-old-or-so daughter? 50

Beacons Tower I. This is the lifeguard tower at Beacons Beach. Beacons Beach is located between West Leucadia Boulevard and Jasper Street. This beach is accessible by a ramp that zig-zags down the cliff, as opposed to stairs that many other beaches have. I used the same color for the cliffs and the beach, but I applied the paint more heavily on the cliff. 51

Beacons. This is a view of the tower at Beacons Beach, seen from higher up the cliff and framed between two poles. The poles and railings encourage people to follow the path to prevent erosion. I colored the tower a light aqua blue. The actual tower is beige.


Beacons Tower II. Other measures to prevent cliff erosion include a storm water drainage system, part of which can be seen on the right. Here I used the railing to lead the eye to the tower.



Previous page: To Beacons. I shot a series of photographs titled starting with “To”, usually from top of stairs leading to a particular beach. (My wife comes up with a lot of titles for my work. When the titles sound interesting then it was likely her input; when the titles sound very straightforward, it was probably me.) To Ponto was the first shot that I named in the “To ...” series. 55

This page: Beacons II. You guessed it right, this title comes from me. This photo was captured with a longer exposure (30 seconds), using my 10-stop filter, to catch some movement in the clouds.

Beacons South. I love creating long panoramic photographs, using longer lenses (180 mm in this creation). This image was created by stitching together seven individual images, after panning my camera from left to right. The two guys (I like to imagine they are discussing surf conditions) stand out nicely against the foggy backdrop. On the right Mount Soledad can be seen peeking through the fog. The original image I colored measured 60x20 inches. 56


Couple at Beacons. This composition is focused on several diagonal lines: The path and railings in the foreground, sand with many footprints, the high tide demarcation, light sand and then wet sand, and finally the ripples in the ocean. Again I placed the horizon high up in the frame.


Beacons Surfers. This is another example of where I decided to put in my own choice of colors. In the original scene, there were three blue surf boards and one white (I left the one that the girl is carrying white). The primary colors of the surfboards necessitated more green in the foliage than actual summer conditions.


Grand View Beach. Grandview Beach is in the north in Leucadia at the end of Neptune Avenue. It is a narrow beach, especially during high tide when waves rush at the bluffs. At low tide the rocks are exposed. The beach is accessed by a long wooden stairway. 60

Grand View Stairs II. Two rows of palm trees line the path towards the stairs at the top of the bluff.

Grand View Palms. As one can see in the previous photograph, the palm trees are not curved as they appear to do in this image. This image is composed of five individual photographs: in the first image my camera was pointing horizontally at the ocean, and in the last one, up vertically. I then stitched them together, leading to this fish-eye-lens like image. 61

To Grand View. Since Grandview Beach is at the north end of Leucadia it borders with South Carlsbad State Beach (also known as Ponto Beach) in Carlsbad. In the distance the Carlsbad Power Plant can be seen.


Grand View Sun. Sometimes I apply HDR techniques to my photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range in which the photographer takes multiple exposures of the same scene, with varying exposure times, going from several stops under exposed (according to the camera light meter) to several stops of over exposure. Specialized software then combines the image into one. The reason for this is that our eyes can capture a larger range of light - from dark to light - than a camera can. In this instance HDR allows us to enjoy both the sun and the shadows in close company. My eyes are always drawn to my favorite part of this photo: the shadows cast by the steps onto the bluff. 63

This Page: Grand View. This image portrays a person’s view of ascending from the beach at Grandview Beach. This image is composed of two individual images. My camera was so close to the steps that I had to focus in separately on the beach and the steps in order to get them both sharp. I love the texture of the wood on these stairs, with the knot displayed prominently. I added some subtle blues onto the beach to break up the color uniformity.

Next Page: To Grand View II. Wet footprints have been left behind on the stairs’ steps by a surfer. As goes for many beaches in Encinitas, Grandview is also a favorite surf spot. Even though it didn’t show at the time, I added some sky blues onto the railings to emphasize the metal.



Grand View Stairs. From this angle the stairs comprise a Z-shape. The color I used for the beach and stairs are the same, but one applied thicker than the other. I threw in some yellows into the greenery to add some variation.


Bibliography Basic forms of industrial buildings Thames & Hudson, Ltd, 2005 by Bernd and Hilla Becher California Beaches California State Parks Encinitas Preservation Foundation Lifeguards of San Diego County (CA) Images of America, Arcadia Publishing, 2007 by Michael T. Martino Olivenhain Town Council San Diego Coastal State Park System General Plan Volume 6 - San Elijo State Beach, July 1984


Biography Roy was born in 1973 in the south of the Netherlands. Early on, he developed an interest in visual arts. His father taught him to draw when he was four years old. His father would draw old locomotives for Roy to copy on a chalkboard. It didn’t take very long for him to start on his own sketches. Later he became fascinated by the paintings of the Dutch Masters and then became interested in photography when his parents bought him a small point-andshoot camera at the age of ten. At a young age, Roy wanted to go to art school but his parents encouraged a career in science and engineering instead. In 2001, while he was working on his PhD in biomedical engineering, one of his friends took him on a little photography tour with his SLR (single lens reflex camera) through Eindhoven, a city in the south of the Netherlands. That’s when he got hooked on SLR’s and bought his first Nikon.

Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, California and the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular institute in La Jolla, California. In 2015, Roy became a US citizen. Now, he lives with his wife Marie and daughter Katie in Carlsbad, California.

In 2003 he moved to San Diego, California to become a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). In 2008, he founded “Eyeball Photography” with his wife Marie, which later became “Roy Kerckhoffs Art”. Since then he has exhibited his work in businesses, galleries and museums. In 2010 he started participating in art festivals and street fairs in California and Arizona and has won awards for his work at these events. In 2012 he started working half-time at UCSD so he would have more time available for creating artwork. Two years later a big decision was made: to quit science, go full-time with his photography business and move to North County (from Normal Heights in San Diego, where Roy and Marie established many good memories) in search for his own gallery space. Many of his pieces decorate businesses, including Cape Rey (a Hilton hotel in Carlsbad, California), Rancho 68

Roy Kerckhoffs is an award-winning photographer and artist based in Carlsbad, California. His work has been exhibited in businesses, galleries and museums. He colors his black and white prints with Marshall Photo Oils - a translucent oil-based paint - using similar techniques as in the days when color photography was yet non-existent. This book contains memorable images captured in four communities within Encinitas, California and particularly features breathtaking coastal scenes. Each stunning photograph is accompanied by the artist’s brief description on what prompted him to focus on in each particular image, his choice of coloring, and often the rationale behind each exquisite composition.

Published by Kerckhoffs Art & Science, Inc. Photo by Katie Kerckhoffs (age 7)

ISBN 978-0-9986080-0-6


9 780998 608006

Encinitas softproof forreview