California Landscapes (2009)

I built a short wall in front of my house by stacking up stones I had picked out at my local garden supply. They thought I was a bit odd in that I asked for a certain number of tons to be delivered but then returned a few days later and spent several hours combing through the rocks in their bins, searching for special ones, and putting these in the back of my FJ Cruiser. The rocks–simple fieldstones–were fascinating. The good ones had unusual shapes and were covered in lichen. The more closely you looked the more variety of growths you saw, along with more detail in the crystals of the rock itself. I put them on my deck to ponder.

A few months later I photographed them. I used a special rig that allowed me to shoot many close-up photographs of each part of the rock–sometimes three or four dozen images for each fieldstone–and then to stitch these images together to form one high-resolution photograph. I can print the images quite large without any need to resize them and with no loss in resolution.

I had moved to California from the East Coast exactly five years before and had struggled to see photographs in that new environment. I’m not a landscape photographer nor do I want to be one. But when the landscape is such a dominant part of your daily visual experience it becomes imperative that you do something about it.

Main Menu