Photography for me is all about adventure, exploring landscapes, and looking for things that are often overlooked or discarded before capturing them in a way that transforms them from their norm. I enjoy the adventure of shooting as much as I do seeking out details and finding places that many would not embrace. The series Paradise Lost investigates a once vibrant and energetic landscape that is now an imprint of what it once was, as nature reclaims its land
My early experiences as a child - who was filled with curiosity - started on foot, grew to long drives in my car, and eventually to destinations in other countries by plane. I embraced photography as a tool to communicate what I was experiencing visually, which led to an investigation of what I was also feeling. I have a science background that is intertwined with my work, from which a passion for both nature and the manmade world has grown. I look upon the environment from a perspective that is reflective of science yet translates into art; focusing on details and aspects of the environment that are uncommonly beautiful and unique.
Every weekend for two years, I traveled to the Salton Sea, an area that rests in the desert of Southern California, photographing the evolving landscape. Formed by accident in 1905 by an overflow from the Colorado River due to an irrigation miscalculation – the Salton Sea eventually became known as a ‘Desert Oasis.’ The Sea, now surrounded by muck, salt and debris, has been reclaimed many times by nature, and today is often regarded as a vision of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The communities surrounding the Sea mostly lie abandoned, waiting for their patrons to return. Here, I find unique beauty and a relationship between nature and man that is ubiquitous to the landscape surrounding the Salton Sea.
Focusing on the once-thriving areas of the Sea, emphasis is placed on the altered landscape within the larger context of nature. Each visit I make reveals a mystery with regards to the changing landscape that is sparked by my scientific and artistic eye. My series Paradise Lost, while physically focusing on the small towns surrounding the Salton Sea, is really about the juxtaposition of man and nature within the landscape. And it has been within this landscape that I have found solace and peace within myself as my camera turns to nature’s beauty and destruction, as well as man’s imprint upon it.
Like my childhood self, I continue to explore. I find that there is something innately interesting about the human impact on nature, as there is in nature’s ability to survive, even when it seems impossible. Above all others, the Sea shows us that our world is continually being altered, and that life is present even in the most unusual and unexpected of places. I have learned that photography is more than just a means of expression, but a way for me to observe, explore and partake in adventures.