While in Northern California in February 2018 my sister suggested I make a visit to Pinnacles National Park near Soledad.
So I packed up my gear and drove down from San Jose early one morning, about an hour and a half away. Little did I know.
The story about photographing at Pinnacles itself will have to come another time. What I wanted to show you was what I found on the road to Pinnacles that blew me away.
I know: not spectacular, no flash, no super saturated colors here. California hills in mid-winter: just a little green starting to show under the trees, a few cows here and there, some gray sky. Perfect, at least for me.
I know, "single trees on the hillside" is over the top cliche', right? So what! This was gorgeous.
I have worked to represent this stretch of road heading east to Pinnacles in its natural state, not with color sliders, saturation and sharpness cranked to the max conveying a falsely romantic syrupy-sweet utopian version of a place.
This certainly didn't need that, this rather pure and elemental landscape that morning on Hwy 146 to Pinnacles.
Finally, let's take a look at cause and effect. I had just driven up from the Ventura area where I'd spent days photographing fire and mudslide damage, both on the ground and from the air. I was also frequently driving two hours up to Santa Rosa from San Jose to photograph the extensive fire damage and destruction there. Take a look at the blogs Disaster and Catastrophe if you haven't. Some beauty and serenity was a good thing for me at that point. My heart swelled up in my chest as I was making these pictures (and is doing so now as I write this). Let's not forget why we do this, this making art (sounds pretentious, I know). We express ourselves through a heartfelt desire to share what we believe are perceptions that others may sympathize with. Can I bring a little peace and some form of slight joy to your day or world as you look at these? I hope so. Because this is what I do: make pictures to share.
Comments? Always welcome. Go here