I believe that we all feel a vibe, a resonation, with certain places in this world. I’ve heard surfers describe the feeling they get from being in saltwater as electrical, literally. They explain it as the electricity in our bodies producing a charge when dropped in a big bath of salt water like the ocean, a natural conductor. For me, living in the state of California often gives me that same charge. I’m not originally from this state but have been a resident for nearly 13 years, spending most of it exploring this magnificent stretch of land where mountains fade into sea, deserts succumb to fields of wildflowers and the oldest, tallest trees in the world reach for some of the clearest skies in our country. It’s a place where a photographer doesn’t need words to do the job of explanation. Of all of these places, one of my favorites is in Central California on a private ranch where great wine is harvested and horses ride in open fields. I was fortunate enough to spend a few days this week snapping some images that I felt most represented the almost cinematic backdrop that this great state offers.
The snowy Sierra’s were only miles away, but who cares when you can get a tan and board the 300 foot sand dunes of Death Valley National Park.
It’s the perfect season to be in Death Valley. Contrary to it’s name, the landscape is blossoming with wildflowers, the temperatures are in the low 70’s and a cool breeze blows through this normally arid and barren landscape. The photo below is from Badwater Basin, where salt rises up out of the earth, splitting and shaping an otherworldly-looking formation.
I spent the last couple days dive-training and photographing off the coast of California on Catalina Island. The water is a cold 51 degrees, but thanks to a dry suit and some insulating fleece, I hardly felt a thing. Below is the iconic Garibaldi swimming amongst the kelp forest.
Today I began shooting underwater on a small creek in Northern California where the annual salmon migration has gotten underway. It was an amazing feeling as these enormous salmon thrust their bodies upstream, often moving around my legs. Their purpose was unified and without doubt as these determined creatures made their journey upstream.
Many salmon die along the way due to the struggle