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You’d typically see fog like this along the coast in the early morning. But on this spring day, the blanket of gray rolled in during the afternoon hours, and Nicholas LaCroix saw an opportunity.

When
4:55pm
3.13.13

Where
Near the pier in San Clemente

LaCroix left his Laguna Niguel home with his Canon camera in hand and headed for the beach in San Clemente. He’d never photographed in these thick, damp conditions, and he was struck by the evocative nature of the setting. He spent about two hours snapping shots and then noticed a lone paddleboarder out beyond the breakers. “When you consider that I had the lens racked out to 105 mm on a full-frame camera, you realize how far out this guy really was,” he says. “I had such a creepy feeling watching the boarder come through the fog. I can’t help but picture a few scenes from horror movies.” And yet, there’s a certain serenity that’s captured from the moment. “It shows life among nothingness,” he says. “In horrible, cold weather, life still exists and manages to enjoy nature. It’s a very profound feeling.”