A chimpanzee could follow the crowd, plop his equipment down in a well-worn tripod hole and get a good photo of Schwabacherâ€™s Landing in Grand Teton National Park just like the millions of other photographers that have previously done so. Where is the essence of nature photography in doing so? Jousting for prime location at classic postcard spots with hundreds of others has never been high on my priority list and nor is that satisfying for the creative soul so I’ve spent the majority of my photography career to date making my own tripod holes. I’m not talking about obscure locations either. The above photo can be found smack-dab in the middle of a metropolitan area with 20 million residents yet I’m the only serious photographer out here doing this type of photography.
Color landscape photography rarely gets respect from the mainstream art circles but I’d argue it has more potential to be culturally significant than your average abstract painting. What I hope to prove is that nature photography is not just about traveling to some designated national park to get pretty postcards but to show that even over-developed urban jungles such as L.A. have beautiful land that is worth preserving. Millions see the San Gabriels every day during their commute yet it never occurs to them that maybe their quality of life would be better without all the tract housing and strip malls covering nearly every square inch in the suburbs. The only way this can be controlled is by carefully choosing who you elect into positions of power from your neighborhood all the way up to the Oval Office. Some people will have you believe that the only way to have economic prosperity is to support development at all costs but that usually only serves to line their own pockets. The question I’d like to pose is without having a place worthwhile to live, does anything else even matter?
See more of my San Gabriel Valley pictures.