There is such a draw to the ocean that most people who ride waves would give anything to get video footage or pictures of their waves. Simultaneously this digital revolution that produced the Go Pro made cameras so cost effective that even people that were not pursuing art or photography as a professional could pick up a camera, document their surf sessions, and shoot their friends. This has increased the number of people in the water at Aliso Beach at times making for conditions with a few extra obstacles for wave riders.
Aliso Beach is great for surf photography whether you are using a Go Pro or a several thousand dollar camera with expensive lens and water housing. Shore Break waves lend themselves to surf photography and Aliso Beach has plenty of those. The water color is this blue-green that mimics those mystical places that find their ways into high end leisure and travel magazines. Its a beautiful and The Montage Hotel and Resort sits on the bluff over looking the ocean a short walk from the parking lot. Sand is placed by the river on the north end of the beach out at it’s mouth and on occasion you will have waves so perfect that you may need to pinch yourself to realize you are there and witnessing their flawless beauty. This set up typically has surf photographers salivating. The sand bars get packed with sand and the waves bare down on them breaking in thick and often times below sea level type of conditions. The sand bars make mutant waves out of some of the most ordinary days of surf.
On the south end of Aliso Beach during late spring, summer and fall months summer there is side wave activity off the inter-tidal reef that tends to help wedge up the waves creating round and sometimes perfect barrels. Everyone gets wide eyed when these things are working. Waves down there are often hit by backwash that travels back off the sloping beach. With these collisions you see waves do some very interesting things and tantalizing local surf photographers. Never doing the same thing twice, backwash influenced waves on the south end never get old, boring or standard hat! This is why surf photographers love this wave.
One of the standout photographers at Aliso Beach is Scotty Carter. His love affair with Aliso Beach began in the early to mid ’80’s. His portfolio of photography extends back to when the two remaining piers in South Laguna Beach were still standing. Despite time flying by, Aliso remains one of his favorite places. While I could never use words to describe how unbelievably magical this place is, it is one of those spots where time seems to stand still. It is a warm, sandy beach, sandwiched between a rocky outcropping on both the north end and south end of the beach that makes you feel like you are far from the stresses of every day life. Scotty would tell you that he feels centered at Aliso and I feel the same. With a large portfolio dating back 25 years, it is clear that Scotty loves Aliso Beach. Given the rise of popularity in shooting Aliso Beach Waves and the availability of a reasonably affordable digital camera in a water housing, it is no surprise that the numbers have increased of people that shoot waves as a hobby, physical activity, sport or art. As you can tell from this website, Aliso Beach means so many things to so many people. The place is a gift, and those people who frequent the spot with the enthusiasm of a child all know this! Aliso Beach is timeless!