I dearly love the State of California; it is one of the most picturesque places in all of the world, with many varied and extraordinary landscapes and vistas. It truly does have something for everyone.
I grew up, primarily, at the beach. I saw many a sunset. Oddly, though, I’ve never really cared for ’em. I’ve never found them particularly romantic. Maybe I’ve seen too many of them, or maybe I just don’t like to throw anything away. And that’s what a sunset is. Sunset is the end of a friendship you had with the day. It’s – as I’ve written before – “the part of the relationship where all the little things you thought were cute grate on you like fingers down a chalkboard and you can’t wait for it to be over so you can go back inside.”
Personally, I believe I’ve got the soul of a cowboy. To this day I love all the great westerns; the panoramas, the wide open spaces. And – even though two of my most favorite cowboy films (Silverado and Tombstone) weren’t filmed there – I’ve had a deep and abiding love for the Sierra Nevadas. I love Yosemite, Kings Canyon, the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, Death Valley and Mount Whitney. Being alone in the open cathedrals made of forests, rock, light, water, and stone makes me feel at peace within the magnificent machine built by our great Creator. I am a solitary wayfarer experiencing a world created just for me.
In California, there are quite a number of good landscape photographers. They can capture an image and it looks great.
There are few, though, that can capture an image that pulls an emotion and makes you want to BE in that picture. One of my absolutely favorite photographers – who photographs the places I love in ways I’ve never seen before – is a lady named Cat Connor. The range of light and depth of color in her images is beyond amazing.
Cat lives north of me in the Eastern Sierra, and I firmly believe that she has her camera surgically attached somehow; from the images I’ve seen, I don’t believe she is ever without it!
If you get the chance, check out her work; she beautifully captures the awe and majesty of God’s great work in ways that are at once beautiful, wide and wonderous … and deeply and personally intimate. Her pictures draw you in and make you yearn to be in the spaces she presents.