Land Sea Sky

Vistas inspire awe. It’s how God sees things. A strong correlation exists between films that win Oscars for Best Cinematography and films that feature landscapes.  The production design of geology and time is unbeatable.  Our relationship with nature is fraught.  Nature is benevolent and cruel. Nature gives us the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, and will mercilessly extinguish us.  We feel insignificant, yet deeply connected to it.  This is the overarching theme of Land, Sea, Sky.

Red Sky – Santa Monica Beach, California

Red Sky – Santa Monica Beach, California

A brooding, red sky looms above a lifeguard tower on Santa Monica Beach in Southern California.

Dusk – Santa Monica Beach, California

Dusk – Santa Monica Beach, California

This landscape shows Santa Monica Beach and bike path where it winds through a cluster of palm trees. The small lifeguard tower in the middle ground gives a sense of scale against the immensity of sky and distant mountains of Malibu.

Malibu Mountains and Coastline

Malibu Mountains and Coastline

This landscape looks northward towards the mountains and coastline of Malibu at magic hour.

City and Beaches – View of Santa Monica, California

City and Beaches – View of Santa Monica, California

This landscape, captured from a perch in the Santa Monica Mountains, shows Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, the beaches of Santa Monica Bay, including Venice Beach and Marina del Rey, as well as the Santa Monica and Venice piers.

Beach Volleyball Courts – Will Rogers Beach, California

Beach Volleyball Courts – Will Rogers Beach, California

Photographed at dusk with large format color reversal film, this panoramic landscape shows a group of deserted beach volleyball courts on Will Rogers Beach with the glimmering lights of Santa Monica pier in the distant background.

Family on Beach, Montage – Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Family on Beach, Montage – Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Captured during a family holiday on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, this panoramic montage shows the artist’s immediate family and in-laws at a small, secluded beach, nestled in the rugged Na Pali coast, where they have stopped to rest and reconnoiter at the mid-point of an arduous day hike.

Man on Pier – Santa Monica, California

Man on Pier – Santa Monica, California

An anonymous man in a generic football jersey pauses for quiet reflection near the end of a busy summer day at Santa Monica Beach and Boardwalk.

Cloud Break – Salton Sea, California

Cloud Break – Salton Sea, California

California’s Salton Sea is a primordial landscape, once part of a vast inland sea that covered a large area of Southern California. Geologists estimate that for three million years, at least through all the years of the Pleistocene glacial age, a large delta was deposited by the Colorado River in the southern region of the Imperial Valley. Eventually, the delta reached the western shore of the Gulf of California  creating a barrier that separated the area of the Salton Sea from the northern reaches of the Gulf.

Sand Fences – Venice Beach, California

Sand Fences – Venice Beach, California

Sand fences are used to force windblown, drifting sand to accumulate, to control erosion, and help sand dune stabilization. The drifting and settling of sand behind and in front of such a fence occurs because the wind speed on both the downwind and windward sides is less than that on the far windward side, allowing light materials such as sand to settle. This creates a pile both in front of and behind the sand fence causing more sand to drop out. Conveniently the sand does not drop on the barrier itself, otherwise it would soon be buried and rendered useless.

Pemaquid Point Light – Bristol, Maine

Pemaquid Point Light – Bristol, Maine

Conceived in antiquity to help mariners avoid shipwreck, the lighthouse would become emblamatic of all guiding beacons. The Pemaquid Point Light on Maine’s dramatic and treacherous coast was commissioned in 1827 by President John Quincy Adams and built that year.

Hollywood Film Crew, Collage – Baja, California

Hollywood Film Crew, Collage – Baja, California

This black and white landscape photograph was captured by the artist when on location south of Mexicali, Mexico, working as the 1st Assistant Cameraman on David Fincher’s 'The Game.' It shows a Hollywood film crew, with its armada of equipment trucks, dwarfed by an immense, desolate landscape. The work was created by blending scans of contiguous 35mm negatives.

Painted Desert – Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Painted Desert – Lake Mead National Recreation Area

The American Southwest is a storied landscape. This photograph shows a region of mountains near Lake Mead, a vast reservoir formed by the Hoover Damn on the mighty Colorado River, near Las Vegas, Nevada. The photographic treatment ⎯ with its pronounced film grain ⎯ alludes to the pointillism of Seurat.

Thunderhead, Cumulonimbus Cloud – Van Nuys, California

Thunderhead, Cumulonimbus Cloud – Van Nuys, California

This landscape photograph shows a thunderhead above Van Nuys, California. Each year, from late August through mid-September, a monsoon brings thunder storms — and the attendant cloud formations — to the American Southwest, spreading from Southern California through Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Utah and into East Texas.

Cumulonimbus Cloud

Cumulonimbus Cloud

This photograph shows a cumulonimbus cloud viewed from a commercial jet airliner. The vintage color film treatment evokes aviation's bygone glamour days, along with mankind's ageless fascination with the heavens.

Anvil Cloud – Cumulonimbus Incus

Anvil Cloud – Cumulonimbus Incus

This black and white photograph shows the unique anvil-shaped formation of a mature thunderstorm, known as ‘Cumulonimbus Incus.’ The inky black sky gives the image a surrealist, otherworldly aspect.

Julian Whatley