The Untamed Spirit of California, Captured on Medium Format Film
One French photographer's pilgrimage to rediscover the Golden State's iconic landscape
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, and 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. Though it wasn’t until recently that I made my return to discover the truth for myself, be it up to the hype or not.
Filled with expectation and excitement, the journey was a genuine 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’s the spirit of freedom, ingrained in this land, where everything seems possible."
It was finally in the small towns, in the dirt streets of Lone Pine, in the footsteps of the Ojai’s farmers, in the 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.