Job seeker Felicia Williams, right, waits in line to speak with job recruiters at the Career Choice Inland Empire Career Fair in Ontario, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release intial jobless claims figures on Sept. 11, 2014. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Job seeker Felicia Williams, right, waits in line to speak with job recruiters at the Career Choice Inland Empire Career Fair in Ontario, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release intial jobless claims figures on Sept. 11, 2014. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Louise Bernardez, grandmother of missing swimmer Marlon Fajardo, 21, looks out at the ocean as lifeguards search for the man near Redondo Beach on Sept., 6, 2014. Divers later recovered a body. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Louise Bernardez, grandmother of missing swimmer Marlon Fajardo, 21, looks out at the ocean as lifeguards search for the man near Redondo Beach on Sept., 6, 2014. Divers later recovered a body. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

I awoke to the sounds of helicopters at about 4am, still battling jet lag, and again about 7am heard them still. I soon learned that a man was missing near Knob Hill in Redondo Beach. This hit particularly close to home for me as I have swam in these very waters, I knew some of the rescue workers personally from high school and this man was only a few years younger than I.
Photographing tragedy like this is challenging: I strive to be respectful, professional and compassionate to those effected by such loss, such as this grandmother Louise Bernardez. Speaking with her on the shore was an honor. She came across as an incredibly strong woman, an impression shared by the lifeguards as well as she stood on the shore looking across the water. For me the above image represents that strength in the face of the vast ocean.

Speaking with her again after it was confirmed that SCUBA divers had recovered a body, she said “It’s not a happy ending, but at least it’s still good to know they found him… I believed that he was gone. How long can you survive? Just a sharp minute.”
Full story on LATimes.com

Griffith Observatory glows at night in this long exposure image as the skyline of downtown stands on Monday, June 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon - All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

Griffith Observatory glows at night in this long exposure image as the skyline of downtown stands on Monday, June 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon – All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission

US Naval Academy freshmen "plebes" form a human wall to climb the lard covered Herndon Monument on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. Each year the Plebes, climb the monument dixie cup hat and replace it with an officer's hat, marking the end of their freshman year. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon - All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

US Naval Academy freshmen “plebes” form a human wall to climb the lard covered Herndon Monument on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. Each year the Plebes, climb the monument dixie cup hat and replace it with an officer’s hat, marking the end of their freshman year. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon – All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

US Naval Academy freshmen "plebes" form a human wall to climb the lard covered Herndon Monument on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. Each year the Plebes, climb the monument dixie cup hat and replace it with an officer's hat, marking the end of their freshman year. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon - All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

US Naval Academy freshmen “plebes” form a human wall to climb the lard covered Herndon Monument on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. Each year the Plebes, climb the monument dixie cup hat and replace it with an officer’s hat, marking the end of their freshman year. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon – All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

The Blue Angels perform flying above the Severn River at the U.S. Naval Academy on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. The Blue Angels' traditional commissioning week performance had not taken place since 2010 to to safety concerns and federal budget cuts. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon - All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)

The Blue Angels perform flying above the Severn River at the U.S. Naval Academy on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Annapolis, Calif. The Blue Angels’ traditional commissioning week performance had not taken place since 2010 to to safety concerns and federal budget cuts. © 2014 Patrick T. Fallon – All Rights Reserved, No Use Without Permission (Patrick T. Fallon)