Senior Editor
Aliso Creek all-time Laguna Beach

When every element comes together, this is what it looks like. Photo: Brandon Sears

The Inertia

Brandon Sears grew up in a beautiful place. He was born and raised in Laguna Beach, but like many others, the beauty of his home town didn’t really sink in until he began to photograph it. “I’ve witnessed many amazing sunrises and sunsets,” he said. “But it wasn’t until I picked up photography, around 2014, that a new appreciation for the ocean, the sky, and nature took hold.”

As a skimboarder, he was already fascinated with the ocean, and taking pictures was another way to explore it. “Photography was a new and different way for me to connect with the ocean,” he explained, “and to be able to share my unique perspective with others.”

A few months ago, we ran our annual Film & Photo Challenge. As you might expect, we were inundated with incredible images, and picking the winners was nearly impossible. The photo you see above was one of the submissions that made the judging so very difficult. So while he may not have come out on top, we thought this particular image was just so good that it needed a spotlight of its own. It was taken in 2014 in Laguna Beach at an iconic skimboarding spot.

“It was just one of those evenings where nature worked in harmony to bring all of its amazing elements together,” Brandon said. “I was lucky enough just to be there and witness it all. For me, this photo tells so much of what I love about Laguna. The steep, lush covered cliffs, speckled with massive palm trees, cascading down to the sand below. The steep sandy slopes that create the perfect shorebreak for skimboarding. Lastly, that golden-hour glow that ignites the entire coast. To me, this photo says home.”

See more from Brandon Sears on Instagram.

Editor’s note: The All-Time series showcases images that stop us in our tracks. Only on rare occasions do nature’s infinite variables align. It’s even more unusual that photos capture the essence of that moment. If you’re sitting on an image (or two) from surf or snow that you think fits the description above and you’d like to be featured, send us your photo with a few sentences about the day to


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