My favorite images are those that contrast (apparently) natural and human-populated places. Escaping all of the noise of the holidays to a hike in the desert has a certain appeal at this time of year.
Brush and tire tracks in the North Palm Springs desert look extra-tiny beneath the enormous Christmas Eve clouds.
The iconic arrays of white wind turbines at the northern end of Coachella Valley scatter whatever color of light is available—quite a blue situation as the sunset fades over the mountains.
If the past few posts have been dedicated to creating cinematic vibes, I’ll dedicate these big sunset clouds and desert hillsides at the end of the road to a California cult classic: Repo Man.
Fields of wind turbines in the California desert may seem like a futuristic addition, but a recent viewing of Rain Man (from 1988) reminded me that there have been wind turbines in this area for decades.
Bombay Beach has all manner of contextless structures; why shouldn’t that include a disembodied front porch?
Given their altitudes, I’m not surprised that clouds and mountains would be friends. I’m a little more interested that only a single set of peaks was deemed worthy of a cloud, while its nearby neighbors remain cloudless.
A wide-open aperture captures the desert dust storms and provides some soft bokeh to a prickly American landscape. I like the sense of depth and space it creates.
Night falls and the well-watered communities give way to desert landscapes on the outskirts of Coachella Valley.
If ever a reminder was needed that large swaths of Coachella Valley would prefer to be desert, the stark shift that occurs at the border where artificial watering stops provides one.
The Thanksgiving evening was perfectly clear, as late-autumn evenings in the desert often are, and I felt like I could see forever: stones and brush in the foreground, over the Pines to Palms Highway, across the irrigated valley floor, before slicing the final bits of sunlight off the tops of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
Tucked into the jagged mountains of the Coachella Valley, the Quarry at La Quinta seems homey and familiar, if a little out of place.
When New Yorkers take their dogs for a walk, it’s down narrow, cramped, sandy, salty sidewalks in a frozen hellscape… At least, in comparison with the Californians, rendered miniature by the grandeur of the landscape.
Beneath the mountain-wall around Denver, the only bright objects are the artificial lights and the highly reflective bodies of water.
At one level, this is a calming, nostalgic image: two people fishing from a causeway over Lake Cahuilla reservoir in Coachella Valley.
The layers of reflections and horizontal lines, however, give it a very surreal, Dali-esque topology: reality doesn’t quite seem to be shaped correctly here. Space is folded in on itself.