I had actually taken this photo quite some time ago. I had just bought a new lens, so of course I wound up with a slew of unspectacular days in a row, a new piece of equipment taunting me the whole time.
Clouds or no clouds, I took a trip to La Jolla's Mt. Soledad, which if nothing else offers some nice views and some Aperture/Photoshop starting points. This was by no means my first visit to this site, and though I think the laser engraved stones were a fairly recent addition, I knew they were there.
I hate to admit that, initially, I was most impressed by the laser graving itself, until I took a look at such a wide angle of view, which compressed the sheer number of these memorial stones into such a small space. This was when I realized the scope of what I was really looking at. Equally impressive to me was the amount of exposed concrete just waiting to be filled in, as indicated by the blue tape around what appear to be recent additions.
If anything, the gloomy light I had been disappointed with helped to achieve the mood. While the large number of stones in place reminded me of the sacrifices that so many (honored by the thousands in sites like this across the United States), what I felt completed it was the little girl at play here on the site. As she runs off to join the people she's visiting with, the divisions between the stones multiply her reflection. It seems as if her carefree activity is a reminder of what's made possible by the acts of the people depicted in the stones. The reflection, however, makes her part of them. While she innocently plays around monuments to the fallen, it would be inaccurate to see her as separate, for she too will impact this world in what she does. It's impossible to know what sacrifices or contributions she, or anyone else, will make. After all, the men and women etched in granite were once as young and playful as she is now.
By the way, I'm planning on upgrading my camera body, so if you live in Southern California, expect rain.
tm t m cleland photo photography lens la jolla aperture mount mt soledad clouds laser engraving memorial stones playful innocent innocence military honor sacrifice granite