I Am Alive!

I am alive!

Like many photographers, I giddily anticipate the arrival of spring wildflowers every year. More so than in any other place, wildflowers in the arid desert is a truly magical sight to behold. Extraordinarily beautiful, terrifically ephemeral, and entirely without any guarantees that the next spring will deliver the same (or even close). In my case, “the chase” is critically more important than the actual photographs I make. The chase affirms my sanity and confirms my minuscule role in this amazing web we call life. Desert wildflowers have taken thousands of years to develop their punctual annual program, and I am in as much awe of this evolutionary process as I am the results.

The biology and geology of the places I explore are truly amazing, and truth is, the still photograph is usually an entirely insufficient device to sharing these special moments and experiences. The technicals of making good photographs is boringly easy when compared to conveying my deeply personal and passionate feelings for these places. To be sure, the hardest part of my art is not access, organization, or sales; it’s creating images that emote those distinct and unique feelings. How do you transmit through photographs your tears of joy over the stunning moment and place before you? It’s never easy, and I often submit, put away the camera, and enjoy that special moment without any distractions.

The attached photograph is from a few mornings ago; sunrise over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s Borrego Badlands. That’s my good friend Johnny enjoying a sweet little backlit patch of Arizona Lupine (Lupinus arizonicus) on a steep and exposed ridge. The large format photographs I had planned for this morning didn’t quite work out, yet this photograph more than makes up for any lost opportunities during my travels. This image does not remind me of the noxious spread of Sahara Mustard across Anza-Borrego; it does not remind me of the blowing wind that prevented a few photographs; nor does it remind me of the uncomfortable-at-times heat: it only reminds me of how sweet it is to be alive, to have all my senses, and to watch a new day dawn over an ephemeral wildflower desert landscape. No photograph can ever rival the beauty of life and these kinds of intimate experiences.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

Tranquil Reflections. Weir Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada.

Beautiful white Sierra granite reflects morning sunlight onto the wind-rippled surface of Weir Lake. Thank you for looking.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Breaking News: Desert Wildflower Tour?

Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark - Mojave National Preserve

Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark - Mojave National Preserve

This digital composite (eight frames total, digitally assembled) was made on Monday morning at sunrise, in the Mojave National Preserve. You’re seeing here only a handful of the 30+ cinder cones that comprise the Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark (within the Mojave National Preserve).

On this most recent sojourn, I got a first-hand look at the ripe potential for great spring wildflowers in the California desert. Great swaths of the desert are beginning to quickly green up. Although the month of January was virtually dry throughout the state, February started with a bang, and it almost seems like the rainfall has hardly let up since. Because Southern California also received early season rains (Oct-Nov), wildflower seeds and forbs are on track for a potentially excellent bloom.

I’ll be making several more trips and teaching a few private workshops in the desert over the next couple of weeks, and I’ll be closely watching the development of things. If conditions look promising, I’ll offer a short-notice tour (likely limited to six participants) to some of my favorite wildflower locations in the desert. If this tour interests you, please leave open in your schedule the 2nd and 3rd weekend of March! If you are not on my mailing list or on the mailing list of Gordon-Tal Photographic Workshops, please subscribe yourself to one or both , or indicate your interest here by way of reply.

If you’ve not seen or photographed the California desert in stunning carpets of wildflowers, this is an excellent opportunity. Thank you for your interest.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.