California From Fresh Eyes
One French photographer's pilgrimage to capture the spirit of The Golden State on medium format film
120mm Fuji Pro 160NS
*words and images by Arnaud Teicher
The first time I came to California I was only 10 years old, and since then I have kept magical memories of incredible landscapes—the mountains, deserts, sea. Even then it was obvious that someday I would come back to this mythical western land. In the years since my love for photography has led me discover the work of such American photographers as Stephen Shore, Jeff Brouws, Joel Sternfeld… all off which made my desire for America and California grow even bigger.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I made my returned to this land.
Filled with expectation and excitement, the journey was a great revelation. I rode through the great national parks like Yosemite, and the scenery was beautiful, but there were a lot of people—a lot of tourists, a lot of noise.
It is finally in the small towns, in the dirt streets of Lone Pine, in the footsteps of the Ojai’s farmers, in old gas station of Kramer Junction, across Highway 395 listening Johnny Cash, that I found the answer to why a young French kid would continue to admire this foreign land. It’s the spirit of freedom, ingrained in this land, where everything seems possible.