Scotty Carter

Scotty Carter Body Boarding Aliso Beach

Body Boarding Aliso Beach Scotty Carter Doing Jack Lindholm Impersonation On! Photo Credit: Henry Long



Scotty Carter is a photographer and artist who for the better part of 3 decades, has made the ocean waters of Laguna Beach, California his playground.  He is a waterman who fell in love with the waves in Laguna establishing his roots as a teen as an exceptional body boarder.  His interest in the ocean and waves along this coastline developed into a desire to capture wave riders as they took on the heaviest shore breaks in Laguna Beach, California and across the globe.  He has 5 movies to his credit, four of which featured some of the best body boarders, wave riders and water men of the 80’s and 90’s with incredible footage from this coastal playground and other special places along the world’s shores.  As digital technology made movie making simple, his interest shifted to water photography.  Again, he found himself navigating the waves of Laguna beach breaks and coves attempting to capture wave riders doing something special, but he was becoming more fascinated with the raw beauty of the un-ridden waves that were all around him.  In his mind, how could he let all of these amazing waves go by while he waited for that perfect moment where a rider, wave and photographer all happened to be in the right place and right time?  Fundamentally, he made a shift to documenting the natural gift of waves.  Drawn to the ocean, the peacefulness and solitude of Aliso Beach inspired him to capture water sculptures delivered perfectly with nature’s combination of water, light and energy!

Aliso Beach was and is a special place for him.  Tucked between sections of coastal hills, Aliso Beach maintains a pristine water color and tranquil beach setting that tends to make a lasting impression.  Scotty was hooked.  He has photographed Aliso Beach since the mid-1980’s, and 25 years later, it remains a cherished place and a get away from the concrete jungle and the stresses of daily life.

The waves at Aliso Beach are influenced by the delivery of sand and the creation of sand bars by Aliso Creek running into the ocean.  The waves peel along the sand bars placed by the river and are taken on by skim boarders, body surfers, tray surfers, body boarders and occasionally surfers with brass balls!  With a close proximity to shore, Aliso Beach is the perfect setting for water photography and art.  With reflections coming from the coastal hill sides, the homes dotting the north end of the beach, and brilliant sunsets, this timeless beach will be etched in the heart and memories of Scotty Carter for eternity.

Water Sculpture Art, Scotty Carter, Aliso Beach

Scotty Carter Showing Off Water Sculpture Art Inspired By Aliso Beach

In this environment Scotty, took notice of a special wave that only worked when sunlight, tides, swell direction and wave heights cooperated.  Back in those days, nobody really cared about photographing Aliso Beach, and nor did the understand why Scotty was so interested in this beach.  Today, that discovery and a wealth of knowledge acquired by the careful study of how the waves worked at Aliso Beach, have contributed to the launch of Scotty Carter as an artist.  We call these special waves Water Sculptures.  Largely because of his interest in these waves, he has expanded water sculpture art to his own wave that was modeled after the waves he experienced at Aliso Beach.

His Aliso Beach and water sculpture art got him published by McKibben Studios in Laguna Beach.  It led to an invite to exhibit at the Orange County Fair in 2007 and has got him in and on the cover of several magazines including Decor Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal and Surfing Magazine.  His work was placed in the Atlantis Dubai Hotel and Resort by the respected art consulting firm of Joan Warren Grady of La Jolla, California.  Scotty’s childhood and story are unquestionably intertwined with Laguna and Aliso Beach.  He cherishes this beach and he continues to find inspiration for his work and peace of mind in the waters of Aliso!

Scotty’s message to you is that you have to see it for yourself to truly appreciate that magic that is Aliso Beach.


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