The MyFace Age
August 17, 2010, 04:25 PM
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El Matador State Beach in the far reaches of Malibu is likely the most photogenic beach in Los Angeles County. (In general, Southern California beaches aren't quite world class in aesthetics because the ocean off LA is a sort of grayish greenish blue, whereas the Mediterranean, say, is a much brighter blue. I've never understood why oceans differ in color. Aren't they all connected?)

I've been visiting El Matador every few years for about three decades. Usually, it was fairly empty except for a few strollers (swimming is dangerous due to all the rocks) and one or two professional photographers with assistants shooting fashion models. I went there with my mother in 1997, the year before she died, and we watched a whale the size of a school bus and a couple of dolphins feast on a school of fish just about 75-100 yards offshore.

On Sunday, I dropped by El Matador just before sunset, for the first time in a few years, and now it is wall-to-wall amateur models and photographers with huge telephoto lenses.

Perhaps I'm overgeneralizing from a small sample size, but I'm guessing that the spread of social media like MyFace has made getting your picture taken a much bigger to-do than it was just a decade ago.